In one of the most disturbing visuals to surface in the middle of a debate over poor facilities in hospitals across the country, a patient eats straight from the floor of a hospital ward in Jharkhand capital Ranchi. The horrific visual was captured by the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar at the state's biggest government hospital, the Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences.
Palmati Devi, her right arm wrapped in bandage, ate her meal of rice, dal and vegetables from the floor on Wednesday. Ward boys allegedly first made her clean the floor, despite the fractured arm. A patient at the orthopaedic ward, Palmati Devi didn't have her own plate and had asked for one, but was rudely told off by kitchen staff who said there were none at the large hospital that has an annual budget of Rs. 300 crore.
The man who served her food on the floor has been sacked and disposable plates have been commissioned. "It's not a common practice but we have started an inquiry and will take action those who served the food on the floor and then forced her to eat from there," BL Sherwal, the hospital's Director, told Media.
The state of hospitals and how patients are treated came under intense media glare after a poor tribal in Odisha, Dana Majhi, walked 10 km carrying his dead wife's body on his shoulder after being denied hearse facilities.