Meghalaya: No hope for patients as laxity looms over state health dept.

It is a sad state of affairs to see how our state government in Meghalaya work especially in our health care sector. At a time when a patient is in dire need of blood, it is sad to see that the government machinery takes so much time to deliver and execute. I for one have had my own personal experience and these events have made me loathe the way the Regional Blood Bank of Pasteur Institute in Shillong works.

My relative is being treated at Civil Hospital Shillong, of which the doctor said he needed immediate blood. Upon calling a few relatives to volunteer for blood donation, a few responded and decided to go to the blood bank. Upon arrival, I was shocked to see that there was no person waiting at the reception counter. There was a clear sign at the counter that no person was supposed to enter the lab area and so, I and other people who shared the same fate had to wait. Since, it was on an urgent need basis; I decided to shout out ‘Hello’ for someone to respond and to my surprise, somebody called out to wait and never came out to even consider investigating.

Upon waiting for another half an hour, someone reluctantly came out and took the blood sample of the patient concerned, along with the papers from the hospital. The receptionist told me to wait for another two hours of which I gladly obliged. It took them approximately three hours to finish up their work and issued me another document of which I had to go back to Civil Hospital to submit. The document is an approval form for which the hospital personnel must check whether the patient is in an able physical condition to receive the blood transfusion.

The Civil Hospital staffs were efficient and in a matter of minutes were able to check the vitals of my relative, particularly, body temperature, blood pressure and pulse along with the additional approved paper work. They provided me with a blood transportation box of which is to be carried again to the Blood Bank. Upon arrival, the same scenario happened; there was no receptionist at the counter and I had to call out ‘Hello’ again for the second time. I had to wait for another half an hour to receive the blood and had to transport it back to the Hospital in the middle of the night. Finally the blood transfusion was successful till 1:00 am in the morning the next day. It took a gruelling 11 hours to get the whole process done.

My observation is food for thought for all people who have faced this same scenario. It would be tragic if there was any fatality due to this kind of lax on the part of the Regional Blood bank of Pasteur Institute in Shillong to provide immediate medical attention. What if attendants did not have transport at the middle of the night to transport blood for those who are in dire need? For Hospitals like Civil Hospital who do not have a blood bank as such, they would solely have to depend on the prompt response of public blood banks to be able to provide apt medical care to patients who need immediate blood. If this is the case in our capital Shillong, it would be staggering to even comprehend how people in other districts and rural areas manage immediate blood transfusion. For Civil Hospital being a main venue for trauma and accident cases, it is to wonder how the situation transgresses.

By Badlang Kharmutee

Image Source: Representational from the Internet

(The opinion is solely that of the writer and not of TNT-The Northeast Today)

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