Lok Bahadur Pariyar, 45, of Bateshwor Rural Municipality-4 of Dhanusha died after failing to receive treatment. Photo: Mithilesh Yadav/ Republica
LAHAN, May 5: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday addressed the nation and said that he won't let anyone die without treatment. But a day after the address, a 45-year-old man, Lok Bahadur Pariyar of Bateshwor Rural Municipality-4 of Dhanusha died because he did not receive treatment.
He had been suffering from common cold, body aches and fever for the past four days. As the problem worsened, he was rushed to the RP Medical Hall at Bateshwor Bazaar around 7 PM on Monday. Health worker Subodh Sah, who is also the medical director, advised Pariyar to go to Janakpur. “I told him to go to Provincial Hospital at Janakpurdham as he had high fever and was experiencing difficulty in breathing,” said Sah. “We are only medical and he needed more.”
Ambulance driver Rambabu Mahato, who rushed the patient to the Janakpurdham Provincial Hospital, said the hospital refused to admit him due to lack of beds. “Then I took him to Janaki Health Care Hospital. They refused to admit him there too. After the patient's acquaintance asked him to take him to another hospital, I took him to Ramjanaki Hospital. After a few refusals, they asked me to bring the patient back to their home and I did,” he said.
Both the private hospitals had asked Pariyar to deposit a large amount of money for admission which his family was not able to afford. He succumbed to the disease on Tuesday morning after returning home making rounds at various hospitals in Janakpurdham for about an hour and a half.
According to ambulance driver Mahato, the oxygen saturation of Pariyar was recorded at 45 and the temperature at 99 on Monday night. Pariyar, who was picked up from the medical hall, had said that it was difficult for him to breathe and was asking for oxygen support. Driver Mahato said that Pariyar was rushed to the provincial hospital with ‘full flow' of oxygen.
“He was not admitted to the provincial hospital even after many pleas. After other private hospitals did not admit the patient, I brought him back to the medical hall in Bateshwar,” said Mahato. According to him, the doctor at Ramjanki Hospital had checked the oxygen level in Pariyar's body and found that it was only 45.
Pariyar, who had spent the night struggling to catch his breath, reached RP Medical again on Tuesday morning with a friend. When Pariyar reached the medical on foot, he collapsed and could not get up.
That's where he died. Health worker Sah informed that the patient collapsed in the stairs when he reached the medical center. “I don't know which medical center in the village he was treated at,” said Sah. “If he had received the necessary treatment, his life would have been saved.”
The medical superintendent of the Provincial Hospital, Dr Jamun Singh said, "How to get the patient admitted when the bed is not vacant? Our hospital’s isolation wards are already full. There is no alternative than to refuse the admission of patients.”
According to Dr Singh, the provincial hospital now has 26 isolation beds in which 32 patients are placed.
Addressing on behalf of the people, Prime Minister Oli on Tuesday said that saving the lives of the citizens was the first responsibility of the government. But Pariyar died without receiving any treatment. The Prime Minister Oli had said that the government was sensitive to make sure that no citizens are deprived of health facilities. He also promised that no one would have to lose his/her life due to the pandemic. But in practice, the opposite happened.
Security personnel, including the Nepal Army, managed Pariyar's body. But no attempt was made to reveal the cause of his death. Chief District Officer of Dhanusha, Bandu Prasad Bastola, said that no further information has been received about Pariyar's death. Bastola said that the Nepal Army managed the dead body after receiving the news of his death while undergoing treatment in the village.
“The chief administrative officer of Bateshwar village asked to manage the body stating that Pariyar died on Monday night. I asked the Nepal Army's corpse management team to manage it,” he further said.
Although Pariyar was experiencing breathing difficulties, Bastola said it is yet to be confirmed if he had COVID-19. He said that no tests was conducted as there was no government policy to conduct swab tests after the death of a person.