Paralysis of Care: Haji Ahmad’s Ordeal Shines Light on Healthcare Failures

by Rahim Said

In a nation where healthcare is considered a fundamental right, stories like Haji Ahmad’s, (not his real name) though not uncommon, shed light on the dire state of our healthcare system. (His plight is listed further down below).

The ordeal of a paralysed patient enduring substandard care at a government hospital speaks volumes about the challenges faced by those dependent on public healthcare services.

Haji Ahmad’s experience, where a replacement therapist and a trainee neglected his well-being during a physiotherapy session, reflects a larger issue of inadequate staffing and training in our healthcare facilities. The trainee’s ignorance of Haji Ahmad’s condition and the inappropriate treatment meted out to him highlight the urgent need for proper supervision and training programmes.

Moreover, the long wait times at the registration counter reveal a systemic issue of inefficiency and lack of resources in our healthcare infrastructure. Patients, some already suffering, are forced to endure further hardship due to administrative bottlenecks and understaffing.

The implications of such poor service are profound. Beyond the physical toll it takes on patients like Haji Ahmad, it erodes trust in our healthcare system.

When individuals are left to suffer due to negligence and inadequate care, it raises questions about the government’s commitment to providing quality healthcare for all.

As a society, we must demand better. We must advocate for increased funding, improved training programmes, and better oversight to ensure that stories like Haji Ahmad’s become a thing of the past. Our healthcare system should be a source of healing and hope, not one of despair and neglect.

Case Study: The Ordeal of Ahmad

Haji Ahmad is a 65-year-old man, whose arms and legs are paralysed for the past five years due to chronic neuropathy. He is a regular patient at a physiotherapy clinic in a government hospital, attending sessions as required by the doctors.

Despite his condition, Haji Ahmad remains hopeful and diligent in his therapy, believing in its importance for his overall well-being.

On a Tuesday in April, Haji Ahmad attended his scheduled physiotherapy session. However, the regular therapist was unavailable, and a replacement therapist, accompanied by a trainee from a medical college, took over his care.

The trainee, lacking experience and understanding of Haji Ahmad’s condition, proceeded to strap his legs to an exercise bike and set it at a speed of 20 km per hour, ignoring Ahmad’s protests.

After 20 minutes of exhausting leg exercise, the trainee unstrapped his legs and proceeded to strap his arms to another exercise machine, again ignoring Haji Ahmad’s protests. She set the machine to run for 20 minutes and left the room, leaving Ahmad struggling and on the verge of collapse.

Feeling faint and unable to endure the arm exercise any longer, Haji Ahmad shouted for help. The therapist and trainee returned but seemed unsure of how to assist him. Haji Ahmad instructed them to call his wife, get him some water, and cool him down with a wet towel.

After receiving assistance from his wife, Haji Ahmad decided to leave the hospital, feeling extremely tired and disappointed with the level of care he received.

His wife informed him that she had not completed his registration at the counter due to long wait times, with some patients waiting for up to two hours.

Haji Ahmad’s experience highlights the challenges faced by patients in government hospitals, including inadequate staffing, lack of proper training, and long wait times.

His story serves as a poignant reminder of the need for improved healthcare services and underscores the importance of advocating for change to ensure that all patients receive the care and respect they deserve.

Dr. Rahim Said is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on digital media platforms. He is a professional management consultant, a corporate trainer and an executive coach specialising in coaching of senior executives and individual entrepreneurs with the purpose of modifying their behaviour in the pursuit of their cherished missions. (The views expressed by our columnist are entirely his own)