A 60-year-old Covid-19 patient from Sector 16, who is under home isolation, alleged that he was denied treatment at GMSH 16 on Thursday afternoon because he did not possess a discharge slip from PGIMER.
The man had been admitted to PGIMER for a few days after getting diagnosed with the disease on June 10. He was shifted to the COVID care center at Dhanwantri Ayurveda College later and subsequently, discharged for home quarantine on June 17.
The 60-year-old, who is also a patient of heart disease, still has Covid-19 symptoms including breathlessness and consistent coughing.
“My symptoms aggravated on Thursday and I was worried for my safety. I could not breathe properly and coughed incessantly. I am already a heart patient, I was worried this could also be because of my heart being congested,” says the 60-year-old, who owns a pharmacy in Sector 16, and whose employees as well as three family members were diagnosed with Covid-19 between June 9 and 13.
With his condition deteriorating, the 60-year-old called a healthcare worker at GMSH 16 and reported his symptoms, the hospital sent an ambulance to fetch him, but denied him treatment without a discharge slip from PGIMER.
“I did not get a discharge slip from PGIMER, but I got one from Dhanwantri. They refused to accept it, so I had no choice but to go back home,” says the patient.
The hospital staff told the 60-year-old that they do not accept a slip from Dhanwantri and asked him to fetch the slip from PGIMER on his own. “Why would they force a Covid-19 patient to go around the city in this condition? They could have just contacted PGIMER on their own to get the proof or clinical details that they wanted,” says the patient. After retreating to his home without treatment, the man sourced an oxygen cylinder and administered oxygen supply to himself.
“I was advised by a doctor friend of mine to just take oxygen on my own, and that is how I got through the night,” said the 60-year-old, almost inaudible due to his racking cough.
The pharmacist’s 80-year-old father had also tested positive for the disease, and has been on a ventilator in the dedicated ICU at PGIMER, since June 11. The 80-year-old is an asthmatic.
“If he has been sick for so long, it is quite worrying and surely I still have Covid-19 as well and I cannot resume business as per usual until I receive the treatment I need, even though the doctors have said that I do not need treatment and my quarantine period is over,” says the man. Indeed, according to the quarantine poster placed outside his home, the man’s quarantine period ended on Tuesday. Hence, he is allowed to roam in the city despite, his urgent and telling symptoms.
Even as per his discharge slip from Dhanwantri College, the 60-year-old had fever, cough, breathlessness and chest pain when he was cleared for home isolation on June 17.
Meanwhile, an official of GMSH-16 stated that the hospital is in the right to ask a discharge slip from the patient.
“If you go for treatment anywhere, you are supposed to have a referral slip. If he was discharged from PGI, he must have had it, it is just protocol to ask. But, of course we will not deny treatment to a sick patient, so there must be more to the story. If he wants, we will send an ambulance to pick him up right now,” said the official from the hospital administration.
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