Officer on special duty for Covid-19 in Vadodara, Vinod Rao, on Wednesday ordered the deputy commissioner of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to conduct a probe into complaints of patients being turned away from VMC-run SSG hospital and Gotri hospital run by Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS), which has allegedly resulted in the deaths of multiple patients for the want of timely medical treatment.
The order comes a day after SSG hospital and Gotri GMERS hospital allegedly refused to admit a patient showing Covid-19 symptoms and the patient died on the intervening night of June 16 and 17, while the ambulance he was in shuttled between the two hospitals. The order asks the deputy commissioner to seek a fact-finding report from the hospitals and take strict action against the medical officers on duty who allegedly turned away the patient.
The patient’s son said, “My father had hypertension and was also under treatment for jaundice. He suddenly developed breathlessness on Tuesday night and we rushed him to SSG in need of a ventilator. They told us that we would have to take him to Gotri, where they told us that we will have to take him back to SSG as the ventilators are fully occupied. He wasn’t even taken out of the ambulance at either of the hospitals or checked by any doctor.”
Previously, several patients have complained of being turned away at the two hospitals, including a complaint from the family members of an elderly woman who died at Gotri after being denied a ventilator in May.
Rao said, “There cannot be shortage of beds or ventilators. It seems like some medical officers are doing their duty halfheartedly and turning away patients… We will not spare the officers whose negligence has caused loss of life.”
VMC Deputy Commissioner SK Patel will conduct the inquiry.
“There were standing orders to Medical Superintendent of SSG hospital that nobody with typical Covid symptoms should be unnecessarily shifted to Gotri hospital,” Rao said. SSG Superintendent Dr Rajeev Daveshwar was unavailable for comment.