Four people died at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital here on Wednesday due to lack of treatment as junior doctors boycotted emergency duties as part of their ongoing strike. Even the hospital authorities failed to make alternative arrangements because of which the patients were put to severe inconvenience.
Poolamma (50) of Ramachandrapuram in Sangem mandal was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday after she complained of chest pain and breathlessness.
The doctors after diagnosing her referred to acute medical care unit (AMCU) for further treatment. However, Poolamma died after an hour as she was not put on a ventilator at the AMCU.
Devalapalli Upendra (68) of Kareemabad suffering from high fever and M Nagalakshmi (52) who came to the hospital with high sugar levels on Wednesday died one after the other due to lack of treatment.
Srilatha (17) of Mallampalli in Husnabad mandal of Karimnagar district, who was admitted to the hospital three days ago due to snake bite, breathed her last because of shortage of ventilators.
Also, two infants died in the children’s ward due to non-availability of ventilators. There were heart-rending scenes of patients suffering near the emergency wards as doctors stayed away from emergency duties.
Sources said the patients who visited the hospital for emergency services had to turn back disappointed and the outpatient ward witnessed long queues.
The services in casualty ward too came to a standstill. The senior doctors struggled to cater to the heavy patient rush and despite the strike, most of them did not work beyond their regular schedule.
Further, only four ventilators were working in a 50- bedded ward of the hospital and the situation is more or less the same in the intensive medical care unit and emergency medical care unit. Though the government sanctioned 20 more ventilators few days ago, they are yet to arrive.
One of the patient MD Khaleel blamed the hospital authorities for not taking alternative measures in the wake of strike launched by junior doctors.
“I waited for more than two hours for getting treatment to my broken arm but to no avail. Now, I’m shocked to know that all the doctors left for private hospitals rather than attending us here,” the scooter mechanic from Hanamkonda wondered.
Hospital superintendent ANR Lakshmi and no other resident medical officers were available to give clarification on deaths. Moreover, orders were said to be issued to the security personnel not to allow newsmen into the emergency wards. Following this, activists of AIDWA led by district president N Ratnamala staged a dharna at the hospital.