‘No doctor or even peon’: MP minister finds hospital staff missing, posts video on social media

In perhaps a first in CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government, a minister posted his comments and a video on social media on alleged mismanagement in a government hospital in his hometown. The minister was on a surprise inspection visit to the hospital in the wee hours on Friday.

Minister for PWD Gopal Bhargava, one of the senior-most ministers in the cabinet, inspected the civil hospital at Garhakota, his hometown, in Sagar district of Bundelkhand region at 2.30 am, as per his comments.

In his Facebook post, Bhargava said, “I had been receiving complaints from people for several days regarding the absence of doctors and other staff and also want of facilities like X-ray and medicines at the hospital. Accompanied by some people of Garhakota, I conducted a surprise inspection at the hospital at 2.30 am. I called out to the staff repeatedly but there was no doctor, compounder, nurse, paramedical staff or even the peon.”

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“I am just thinking how irresponsible people there are that a minister of state government is awake at 2.30 am and the staff in his hometown’s hospital is missing. There is a similar situation at a primary health centre at Rehli and the hospital at Shahpur. I have decided to inspect these hospitals at least twice in day and night whenever I am staying at my hometown and will take action against those who are found involved in such carelessness. During the pandemic time, such carelessness in emergency services like health can’t be tolerated. On one hand, a labourer is involved in hard work to earn Rs 200 per day and on the other doctors and officers taking a ‘fat salary’ of Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per day are enjoying life in their air-conditioned houses,” the minister commented.

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In the video that the minister posted, he could be seen calling out to the staff members but all in vain as no one is seen responding to his calls before he rides a two-wheeler to get back home.

State Congress president’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja said, “Minister Gopal Bhargava must be appreciated for his candid admission. What he has said has corroborated the Congress’s stand that the health services in BJP government are in shambles and the government is doing nothing to address the issue”.

Collector Deepak Singh said, “I have asked the chief medical and health officer (CMHO) to institute an inquiry and take action if someone is found guilty”.

Commissioner, directorate of health services, Madhya Pradesh, Sanjay Goyal said, “As per CMHO, a doctor who was supposed to be on duty has told him that he and another staff were on the other side of the hospital when the minister reached there and that a delivery also took place in the night. However, since the video can’t be overlooked I have instructed the CMHO to issue a show-cause notice to the concerned staff to seek their explanation”.

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