New Delhi (Sputnik) — Eight months pregnant Samarwati Devi started having labor pains Wednesday night. Fearing a premature delivery, she decided to rush to a nearby government-run hospital. What followed was a horrific experience at the hands of the hospital staff that not only denied her admission but also declared her baby was dead in the womb, slapped her for crying and sent her back.
Samarwati who gave birth to a healthy baby the same night said she was assisted by locals who pitied her and made some makeshift arrangements for the delivery outside the hospital premises in an open space.
"I went to the hospital and told them I was in pain. They didn't even look at me properly before they told me my child was dead inside of me. I started screaming and crying in agony, but the nurses slapped me. I was not even admitted. They forced me to leave the hospital," Samarwati told reporters.
After Samarwati's ordeal was widely reported in the local media, the government of Madhya Pradesh took cognizance of the event and ordered an investigation into the incident.
NHRC notice to the Madhya Pradesh govt over denial of treatment to an HIV positive pregnant woman leading to the death of her new born twins— Neeraj Chauhan (@NchauhanTOI) September 7, 2017
A few days later, a viral video of a pregnant woman being administered IV fluids under a tree gained much public ire. The Rajgarh district hospital said it did not have enough beds to accommodate all patients.
In October, almost 50 women, some of them who were expecting and the others who just gave birth, fell ill after they were given antibiotics in Gwalior's Kamla Raja Government Hospital.
Hospitals blame it on the government's apathy towards poor health infrastructure in the state. Staff members allege they are overworked. Many villages in the state still lack health care centers. Patients have to travel miles before reaching the nearest hospital. The problem gained attention in August this year when a pregnant lady had to walk 20 miles to the hospital. She delivered a baby on the road which later died due to lack of medical attention.