January 7, 2009 1:08:45 am
Burn victim Lopamudra Mitra’s over 12 hour ordeal before she was finally provided a hospital bed is a pointer to the dismal state of medical infrastructure in the state-run hospitals of Kolkata.
Mitra (27),who sustained 96 per cent burns,had to be taken to five hospitals and nursing homes by her relatives before finally being administered proper treatment.
With many instances of patients either being refused admission owing to unavailability of beds or compelled to lie on the floor,superintendents of government hospitals and medical colleges have admitted that government hospitals sometimes do not have sufficient number of beds to accommodate the rush of patients they receive.
When Lopamudra,a resident of Dum Dum cantonment,sustained burn injuries around 6:45 pm on Monday,her family could not have imagined that it would be 11 am the next day before Mitra would finally get a bed in a hospital.
Lopamudra was first taken to Dum Dum Municipality Hospital where she was referred to the state-aided RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. However,the hospital authorities at RG Kar College allegedly denied her admission due to unavailability of beds and referred her to SSKM Hospital.
“We brought her to the SSKM hospital around 12:30 pm when the hospital authorities told us that there was no bed. We then took the patient to two other private nursing homes,” said Sushenjit Das,Mitra’s cousin.
But it was of no use as none of them had burn wards. We had to come back to SSKM and leave her on the floor of the emergency unit till they finally shifted her to a bed today at 11:00 am. “She was compelled to lie on the floor with her burn injuries. We tried to call the superintendent of the hospital but his cell phone was switched off. Our patient lay on the floor for hours unattended and without proper treatment,” said Mamata Das,Mitra’s sister-in-law.
Ashok Ghosh,medical superintendent of the SSKM Hospital,said: “We never refused to admit the patient but since we had no beds we asked the relatives to keep her on the floor till we could make some arrangements.
He added: The demand and supply in government hospitals is not evenly balanced. Our hands are tied sometimes and we do not have any other option but to make the patient lie on the floor because of lack of infrastructure. We need more buildings and beds.”
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