Saturday, May, 08,2021

All is not well: Patient’s relatives share stories of negligence, indignity

Ahmedabad/Rajkot: The state government could go blue in the face insisting that “the COVID-19 situation is under control”, but patients of relatives say nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, they speak of mismanagement that has led to utter chaos, negligence and even indignity in death.

Take for instance, the case of Yashraj Dodiya, whose family has been waiting for 30 hours to collect the remains of his uncle who died at the Rajkot Samras Hostel. “My uncle was admitted to the Civil Hospital on Saturday. Later, they moved him to the Samras Hostel and told us he was recovering,”  Yashraj said. “However, an hour after he went to the Hostel, we got a call saying he had died.”

When the family arrived at Civil Hospital to collect the body, they were told it hadn’t yet arrived. So, as directed, they went to the Samras Hostel. There, staff said the body would be sent to Civil Hospital. 

“How did he die within an hour of being admitted? This is a clear case of negligence,” Yashraj said, “We have been waiting for 30 hours, but they have not yet released his body to us.” 

Also in Rajkot, Bhavesh Danidhariya tells a horrifying tale in which the ambulance carrying his brother-in-law to hospital “went missing.” 

“We called an ambulance in the afternoon, and it arrived at 6pm. Then Civil Hospital sent him to the Samras Hostel. On the way, we lost track of the ambulance. Since then, we have been inquiring about my brother-in-law, but even Samras has not been able to establish contact or help us speak to him.”

On Sunday morning, a 75-year-old in Gandhinagar’s Nadri village tested positive for COVID-19. “Doctors told us to take him to a hospital since he needed oxygen and possibly a ventilator,” the patient’s grand-daughter Lisa said. “We ran around, but there were no empty beds in any hospital in Gandhinagar. So, we then brought him to Ahmedabad, where it took us six whole hours to find an appropriate hospital bed in Sola Civil Hospital.”

She also said, “We called all our contacts, but to no avail. If a hospital had a free bed, it didn’t have oxygen facilities and vice-versa.”

It isn’t just individuals who are having trouble finding beds in COVID-19 centres. 

One 108 Emergency Services ambulance driver, who asked that he not be named for fear of blowback, said, “We have to roam from one hospital to another. Private hospitals and those run by the city all say they have no free beds. Eventually, we take patients to Civil Hospital, where there is wait time of two to three hours for admission.”

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