Mrunal Manmay Dash

In what could expose the alleged shoddy state of health care services in Odisha, a critical patient at Bargarh District Headquarters Hospital was reportedly treated with the help of a mobile phone torch light after a power outage at the hospital on Tuesday night.

As per reports, a patient with ventilator support needed immediate attention. There was no power at the hospital, so the doctors treated him with the mobile phone torch light.

It was alleged that the hospital was under darkness for around 10-15 minutes.

“My father was on oxygen support when the power went out. We called the doctor and they started treatment by connecting an oxygen cylinder,” said Rajesh Bariha, the son of the patient.

However, the Medical Superintendent DK Dutta denied a longer power outage and asserted that the diesel generator was started within a minute of power outage.

Speaking to OTV, Dutta said, “We do not have an automatic generator here. The generator has to be manually started in the event of a power outage. This time around the generator was started within a minute.”

“There are inverters in some places of the hospital. But that is not enough. We need a diesel-powered generator as well. And a generator that big cannot be started automatically,” he added.

Recently on October 1, 2023, the entire SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack was without power supply for nearly 24 hours, crippling the healthcare services.

It forced the doctors to treat patients in mobile torch light.