Multiple hospitals turn away Meiktila girl with gunshot wound

A 14-year-old girl from Meiktila with a gunshot wound to the thigh was turned away from multiple hospitals on Wednesday before finally being admitted to the 1,000-bed Naypyitaw General Hospital the following day. 

The girl was shot in Gway Taukkon village in Mandalay’s Meiktila Township at around 9pm on Wednesday. She was walking back home from her parents’ betel nut shop, according to a family member. The relative added that it was not clear who fired the shot, or from where. 

A local charity group, the Pyithayar Social Association, took the girl to seven hospitals that night in both Meiktila and more than two hours away in Naypyitaw, but none would admit her. 

They included the military hospital and public hospital in Meiktila, the general hospital, the 200-bed hospital and the Sangha Hospital in Naypyitaw’s Lewe Township, and the 1,000-bed general hospital and the military hospital in the city of Naypyitaw.

Both the Meiktila and Naypyitaw military hospitals told them that they could not admit the girl because she was a civilian and not a soldier; other hospitals refused on the grounds that there were no anaesthetists on duty or that they lacked surgical equipment.  

Thura Lwin Oo, an official from the charity group, said that the Naypyitaw General Hospital urged them to take the girl to another hospital as they were overcrowded with Covid-19 patients.

“If a patient is transferred from one hospital to another, the first hospital must give us a letter of referral, but they just did it verbally. They just told us to go to some other hospitals, so we were forced to waste time on the road all night until dawn,” he said. 

On Thursday morning, Thura Lwin Oo posted about the situation on social media in a plea for help.

“I was afraid she would have to have her leg amputated if we took any longer. Her thigh was no longer bleeding, but I was afraid something would happen because the bullet was still inside,” he said.

On Thursday morning, the charity group was able to make contact again with the general hospital in Naypyitaw. 

“We had to call them again. When we arrived in Naypyitaw last night, no one answered the phone,” Thura Lwin Oo explained on Thursday. “This morning, I called the hospital again and they told me to come back.” 

At the time of reporting, the girl’s condition was stable. 

Since the February 1 coup in Myanmar, health workers have been widely participating in the general strike as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement aimed at toppling military rule. 

Public hospitals and clinics have been operating with fewer staff as a result of the strike, with some health workers providing care privately or in community-run clinics. 

The junta has claimed that military doctors and nurses have been filling in at public hospitals in order to provide regular services. The military council announced on Wednesday that hospitals in Meiktila District were operating as usual. 

Related Articles

Back to top button