BHUBANESWAR: Even as the death of a destitute in the Capital city due to lack of timely treatment has generated a furore, it has exposed an absolute lack of destitute care facilities at the premier hospitals in the twin-city.
The woman, Mira Sethi, who was suffering from pregnancy-related complications, died on Sunday night at the Capital Hospital.
Mira was first admitted on Saturday to the Capital Hospital from where she was referred to Cuttack as her condition became critical. She was sent to the SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) in 108 Ambulance.
However, despite being in a serious condition and mentally unstable, Mira was sent alone without any attendant. As the ambulance dropped her at the SCBMCH, Mira was left to her own fate. Lying unattended and in pain for sometime, she left the hospital unnoticed and somehow managed to make her way back to Bhubaneswar, police sources said.
Mira was spotted in Nayapalli area by volunteers of a social service organisation and was rushed to the Capital Hospital again, where she succumbed.
The incident reflects complete apathy to destitute care in the State. The hapless woman’s life could have been saved, if she was sent with an attendant to SCBMCH. The attendant could have ensured treatment by doctors and shifting her to the department concerned.
“Though the Capital Hospital does not have a destitute ward or a system to manage such patients, the authorities could have sought assistance from social organisations working in the hospital. If a person had accompanied her, Mira’s life could have been saved along with the baby,” sources said.
The issue of putting up destitute care facilities at the SCBMCH has been taken up by the Orissa High Court. The Government had expressed its commitment to provide special care to unattended patients admitted to the hospital and the superintendent was to negotiate with NGOs to get their support. But nothing has been done yet. The hospitals across the State continue to be indifferent to the special needs of the destitute who have no one to look after them.
The attitude of the authorities here is unspeakable. “We do not have enough staff to escort the destitute patients in an ambulance to referral hospitals,” said Dr Binod Kumar Mishra, Superintendent, Capital Hospital.