COIMBATORE: An abandoned man found battling for life outside the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) with a catheter attached to his urinary tract was on Monday admitted to the hospital by volunteers of Eera Nejnam, a non-governmental organisation.
The help from the NGO, headed by P Mahendran, came after the Express highlighted the plight of the unidentified man on Monday. Doctors at the CMCH have put him on saline solution.
He did not seem to recognise his surroundings and was not very responsive, the nurses said.
While the man was lucky, his plight brings to light the sordid condition of patients and accident victims who are abandoned by their relatives. Those familiar with the scene at the city’s government-run hospital say that quite a few unattended patients are left to die an inconspicuous death on the streets.
Social workers allege that it is a usual practice at the hospital to abandon patients without attendants on the streets. This is also affirmed by some of the staff and vendors who witness the regular flow of patients everyday.
A tender coconut vendor outside the main gate of CMCH says, “Sometimes during late night hours, the ward staff physically lift the patients and leave them around the street corners. People mistake these patients to be drunkards or street urchins and ignore them.” Ambulance worker Anbarasu says there have been times when he has brought back the same patient from different parts of the city within a month. “There are times when we get a call that a person is lying on the roads for days and we are sent to fetch the abandoned patient.
More often than not, we bring back the same patient who was admitted a few days or weeks ago. We are not sure whether the staff leave them out or if they leave on their own,” he says.
However, CMCH Resident Medical Officer Dr P Sivaprakasam strongly denies the charge. “We get over a thousand in-patients everyday and it usually exceeds our bed capacity by at least 100 to 200. Of these, about 40 to 50 are destitute, who do not have any relatives or attendants.