Turned away by Kerala hospitals, man dies in ambulance waiting for treatment

The Kollam City police Commissioner told TNM that four hospitals have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Turned away by Kerala hospitals, man dies in ambulance waiting for treatment
Turned away by Kerala hospitals, man dies in ambulance waiting for treatment
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A migrant labourer, who was injured in a road accident late on Sunday night in Kollam, died in the wee hours of Monday after he was allegedly denied treatment. Medicity Hospital, where he was taken after the accident, allegedly denied him treatment claiming he was an unidentified patient and was not accompanied by anyone.  

According to reports, he succumbed to his injuries in the ambulance that had been trying to get the patient admitted for hours at length, but in vain.

According to the police, the patient was taken to four hospitals, inluding two in Kollam and two hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram. Kollam City Police Commissioner Ajitha Begum told TNM that an FIR has been registered based on a complained filed by the ambulance staff. 

"All the four hospitals named in the complained have been named in the FIR. These include a government hospital too. The four hospitals- Medicity hospital, Metrina hospital (both in Kollam), Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital and SUT hospital- have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder," the Commissioner said. 

The local police said that Murugan, a native of Tamil Nadu, met with an accident in Chathannur police limit sometime around 11pm on Sunday. However, further details of the accident are unclear, say police. 

Police said that the patient was first taken to Kottiyam KIMS hospital before the patient was taken to Medicity in the private ambulance. 

"At KIMS, there is no trauma care facility and so they referred the patient to Medicity. However, despite having ventilator facility and advanced medical facilities, it is being alleged that Medicity hospital refused treatment only because there was no bystander. The IG has instructed us to verify the facts and circumstances of the case and take legal action based on the findings," Kottiyam SI Ratheesh said. 

Asianet News reported about the death on Monday. The ambulance staff Rajesh and Rahul told the news channel that Medicity hospital had refused to treat the patient citing that he was an "unidentified patient." 

"The patient was in the ambulance for at least 7 hours before he died. We took the patient to several private and government medical colleges, but none of them had ventilator facility. The patient died on the way to one of the hospitals and we took the body to the district hospital where he was declared dead. The ambulance has ventilator facility, but the hospital officials (Medicity) did not even bother to come up to the ambulance and check the patient," one of the ambulance drivers alleged. 

The police said that they will record the statements of the ambulance staff as well as officials at Medicity hospital in the later part of the day. A case has not been registered at the moment, the police added. 

However, refuting the allegations of medical negligence, Dr Naiju of Medicity hospital told Asianet News that the hospital had indeed given primary treatment to Murugan. 

"The patient was first taken to another hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. Following this, he was brought to our hospital and the duty doctor checked the patient. However, since a ventilator was unavailable at the time, we referred the patient to another hospital. We did not deny treatment to the patient, that's a false allegation. Our hospital policy is that we treat every patient who comes in on an emergency, and if at all there is no bystander, we inform the police after attending to the patient," Dr Naiju maintained. 

Kottiyam police Sub-Inspector Ratheesh told TNM that they have begun the process to initiate legal steps against Medicity hospital, for allegedly denying treatment to the patient. 

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