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Tamil Nadu: No ambulance, relatives forced to take patient on open truck to hospital for 30 km, dies

The RT-PCR test on Baranimuthu was negative and the doctor at PHC in  Muduvarpatti recommended home isolation for a week but he later complained of stomach pain after which he was referred to Government Hospital in Madurai

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
May 25, 2021 8:43:48 pm
Baranimuthu taken to hospital in an open truck died on the way

A 31-year-old man with stomach pain died on his way to a major hospital 30 kilometres from his hometown. The relatives of Baranimuthu, the patient, were forced to take him on an open mini truck to Government Hospital in Madurai but was declared brought dead. The incident which happened on May 24 has led to an uproar in the Muduvarpatti area with many questioning the medical infrastructure in rural areas.

Baranimuthu, who had been working in Tiruppur, returned to his hometown recently. On May 22, he complained of severe stomach and body pain and was taken to the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Muduvarpatti on May 22.

The RT-PCR test on Baranimuthu was negative and the doctor at PHC recommended home isolation for a week.

On Monday morning, Baranimuthu developed breathlessness and was referred to GH in Madurai. The doctor who examined him at the PHC told indianexpress.com that the patient was undergoing treatment in Tiruppur for a kidney-related ailment.

“He was not Covid-19 positive. He had been undergoing treatment for kidney-related ailment in Tirupur for over three years but he never revealed it to us. When he arrived here, he had a bloated stomach, I called 108 ambulances and gave the referral to the Government Hospital in Madurai. The ambulance which was booked for them was attending another emergency patient, so I told them to wait for some time. However, the relatives forcefully took him to the GH by a truck after informing us and gave a signed consent letter saying that they are taking him at their own risk. The relatives then brought him to GH, where doctors declared him dead,” the doctor said.

He added that the patient hid his medical history from his family as well.

However, sources said the hospital is trying to divert the issue by claiming that the patient is Covid-19 negative and Baranimuthu died owing to co-morbid conditions.

“The issue is that there was no ambulance to carry a patient. His health deteriorated and the hospital did nothing to save his life. This is the situation here and the authorities are attempting to under-report over Covid deaths.

“On Monday, as per the government records, Madurai had 1,139 Covid-19 positive cases and 13 deaths but on average at least 50 deaths are reported daily. Hospitals refuse to admit many patients coming from rural areas due to caseload. They are advised home isolation and many develop serious symptoms and succumb to the virus. There is a clear discrepancy in the numbers,” the source said.

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