A 60-year-old female coronavirus patient died in an ambulance outside a private hospital in Kolkata while allegedly awaiting admission as her family failed to deposit in time Rs 3 lakh demanded by the staff.
The incident took place at Desun Hospital on the EM Bypass here on Monday night. The patient had been brought from East Midnapore’s Tomluk. The deceased’s husband had died of Covid-19 three days ago.
Her family said that when they took the patient to the hospital they were asked to deposit Rs 3 lakh. They said they immediately deposited Rs 80,000 and asked for an hour to arrange the remaining amount. But, they alleged, the hospital authorities categorically told them that doctors would not be able to start treatment unless the full payment was made.
Later, they arranged Rs 2 lakh more and deposited the amount in a bank account, but the patient had died by then in the ambulance. Despite repeated attempts, hospital authorities refused to issue any media statement on the issue.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has clearly given instructions to all private medical fecilities not to delay treatment in such emergencies. This is absolutely uncalled for,” Indian Medical Association (IMA) President and Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shantanu Sen said.
Sen also urged the bereaved family to approach the state medical regulatory commission with a formal complaint for necessary action against the hospital authorities.
In another incident of alleged medical negligence in adjoining Howrah district’s Jaiswal hospital, coronavirus positive patient Moumita Ghosh was denied proper care. Ghosh was admitted to the hospital for the past seven day but suddenly developed respiratory problem and asked for oxygen support. She went live on the social media to seek help.
Later, West Bengal Minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla responded to her video appeal and made arrangements to ensure an oxygen cylinder for the patient.
On a positive note, Kolkata Police Constables Bhaskar Bera and Pappu Kumar Sinha stepped forward to help a corona positive patient by donating plasma for her therapy at a private hospital in the city on Monday.