Delhi health crisis: Corona patients suffer apathy, maltreatment in hospitals
Delhi govt app showed beds were available in hospitals but they refused to admit the patient when approached. A call was also made to the helpline number of the govt but to no avail, says a kin
In Delhi, patients have to wander from hospital to hospital for treatment of coronavirus. Some of those admitted to hospitals have also gone missing. In Covid-designated Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, the bodies could not be accounted for.
At the same time, private hospitals have been accused of allotting beds at a premium. A case of missing corona-infected elderly patient has been reported at LNJP hospital. A 65-year-old corona-infected person was admitted to LNJP hospital on June 1 by his son Naveen (name changed). The patient was referred from Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Janakpuri to LNJP.
Naveen alleged, "I kept fetching food for my father from home for several days but the food was returned. I inquired about my father but the hospital did not give any satisfactory answer. I have checked at all the wards with the hospital staff but could not find my father there."
"At first my father was in ward number 31, then he was shifted to ICU-4 but he is not there either. He does not have a mobile phone. I have also complained to the police so that the administration could investigate into my father's whereabouts," Naveen added.
A young man Anil Kumar made rounds of the hospitals with his sick sister-in-law all through the night. By morning, the patient died. Anil said, "First of all we went to Sir Gangaram Hospital. The hospital refused to treat the patient or allot her a bed. We were told all beds were occupied. Then we went to the nearest BL Kapoor Hospital but did not get a bed there either. After a while we reached RML hospital. First they asked to admit the patient but later they refused, saying there was no bed available. On appealing again, the hospital staff misbehaved and we were thrown out."
The Delhi government app showed beds were available in hospitals but they refused to admit the patient when approached. A call was also made to the helpline number of the Delhi government but to no avail, added Anil.
"After visiting several private hospitals, we reached Safdarjung Hospital. Though the patient was admitted but was kept waiting outside the corona ward for nearly an hour. After putting the patient on oxygen, the cylinder ran out of gas and the patient died."
Asked to comment on the matter, Dr Balwinder of Safdarjung Hospital said, "You talk to the PRO of the hospital. I am not an authorized person to talk on this subject". The hospital's PRO declined to comment.
Vishal, whose relative was under treatment at GTB hospital, said, "Our relative died in the hospital during the corona treatment but the body was not handed over by the hospital administration for three hours. Later the relatives and an attendant of the hospital removed the body from there and wrapped it in a cloth."
Sunil Singh (name changed), a corona patient, said, "After being found corona positive I went to a private corona hospital near Karol Bagh. However, the hospital refused to provide me a bed. The hospital asked for a deposit of Rs 4.5 lakh. Of which Rs 2.5 lakh were demanded through the credit card and another Rs 2 lakh in cash. The Delhi government has also registered an FIR against this private hospital in another case."
Asked that millions of rupees were being sought by private hospitals for treatment of corona, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said action would be taken against such hospitals. There has also been a case of swapping of two bodies in LNJP Hospital. Two persons both named Aslam were admitted to the hospital for corona treatment but both died.
Following their death, the two bodies were swapped due to the same name and handed over to the wrong families. The funerals were also done on mistaken identity. Realising the mistake, the hospital and the police have accused the families of wrong identification of the bodies. The hospital administration said, "The corpses of two persons of the same name got interchanged as the face begins to decay post-death, hence the mistake in identifying the body."