A 56-year-old man from Vatva died in the emergency ward of the Narayana Multispecialty Hospital in Rakhial on Monday allegedly due to delay caused by “procedural issues”. The hospital authorities alleged that the members from the deceased’s community barged inside the hospital and vandalised it.
According to family members of the deceased patient, Chhedi Khan Mir Kabul Khan alias Chhedi, who ironed clothes for a living at his house in Vatva, was admitted in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run LG Hospital for the past one week and from Sunday his health had deteriorated when he started coughing out blood.”
His nephew Khurshid Saiyed told The Indian Express, “My uncle was coughing blood for the past 2-3 days. The doctors at LG Hospital had told us to take him to Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital in Naroda for further treatment. On Monday morning, we reached ESIC Hospital. However, the medical team said that they don’t have the equipment or trained staff to treat him so he must be taken to Narayana Hospital in Rakhial.”
“Around 3 pm, we reached Narayana Hospital but the patient was just kept on a stretcher inside the emergency ward and not attended to. The hospital management asked us to get us in writing from ESIC Hospital in Naroda that they are not able to treat the patient over there hence he is being referred to Narayana,” he alleged.
“We tried to reason with them that it takes at least 45 minutes to commute between Naroda to Rakhial and the patient will suffer if he is not attended to immediately. Some of us then headed back to ESIC Hospital in Naroda to get the letter while my uncle just kept waiting at the emergency ward for over 45 minutes. He collapsed on the stretcher while waiting for treatment. As soon as we noticed that he was not breathing, we raised an alarm after which a team of medical personnel rushed him inside the emergency ward main section,” Saiyed further alleged.
According to a statement issued by the hospital, the relatives were advised to obtain a referral letter from the ESIC hospital “which is a must as per the protocol set by the government”.
The relatives returned with the letter and case files around 3:45 pm along with the patient, “who was in an ambulance”. The relatives were immediately taken to meet the doctor in-charge of the emergency ward who examined the case history and realised that the patient needed gastro surgery for which hospital did not have specialists at that juncture, the hospital said.
“So, the doctor advised the relatives to immediately take him to a relevant hospital. Meanwhile, the patient’s condition turned grave inside the ambulance and hence the doctor asked the relatives to bring him inside in case an intervention is needed. However, unfortunately, the patient had collapsed by that time,” the hospital said.
“After this, a mob of around 60 people, mostly community members of the patient, barged inside the hospital premises and vandalized the hospital’s property. A few of them were carrying sharp weapons. They attacked the doctors, healthcare workers and nursing staff and injured them seriously. The local police had to intervene to diffuse the situation,” the hospital authorities alleged.
According to police, a scuffle broke out between the family members of the deceased patient and the management of Narayana Hospital including the medical team after which teams from Rakhial police station were brought in. No one was detained after the incident, the police said.
Saiyed said that the family members were angry, “that the patient was not attended to for 45 minutes when he was alive and now that he has died, they (the hospital) were showing such attention. In the heat of the moment.”
“Some family members may have held the collar of doctors over there,” he added.
The patient’s family claimed that they submitted a complaint to Rakhial police station for mismanagement and negligence on behalf of Narayana Hospital management but it was not accepted by police.
“We made several attempts to get an FIR lodged against the hospital management but the police refused to do so. Initially, the hospital management refused to give us the body of my uncle but around 9 pm, they agreed. By 11 pm, we will get the body after which we will do the last rites tonight itself,” said Saiyed.
KC Rathva, Police Inspector and in-charge officer of Rakhial Police station told The Indian Express, “We have not received any written complaint against the hospital management or the family members of patient till now”.
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