CHENNAI: For the last three days, family members of a septuagenarian Covid patient have been running from pillar to post for his dialysis. They claim that all major hospitals in the city -- private and government -- denied to perform the procedure. “The dialysis centre we have been visiting for the last seven years shut down recently after a Covid case was reported there,” says the patient’s son-in-law Tufail Ahmed.
“He needs dialysis three times a week. We went around looking for new centres but all of them are asking for Covid certificates. We checked in a private lab and he tested positive on Monday,” says Tufail. “All the major private hospitals we contacted told us that they are only treating COVID and will not be able to do dialysis. So, we then went to Omandurar government hospital on Tuesday.”
“From there we were redirected to Stanley. When we went to Stanley then diverted us to RGGGH. It has been three days, we have been hopping from one hospital to another, putting ourselves at great risk.” Tufail says at RGGGH there were only eight beds left. “They got filled even as we entered.”
Tufail says they were asked to go back to Stanley or KMC. “We saw people sitting on the floor as there weren’t enough beds. We are just doing rounds from one place to another. We are concerned about the health of my father-in-law, who is now 73 years old.” Relief came their way on Thursday evening after Tufail called the CM Cell.
“An official from the CM Cell said he will facilitate dialysis and COVID treatment at RGGGH by Friday morning. But the doctors at the hospital have been saying they still have a lot of patients waiting and are unsure.” An official at Stanley says that after a dialysis centre in Valluvar Kottam was shut following a doctor there testing positive, many patients have been coming to the government hospital.
“Our slots are full, so we redirected them to RGGGH. Till date, we didn’t even turn away one COVID patient.” When contacted, another senior official from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital said they were unaware of the issue. “We have been doing dialysis for a huge number of COVID patients. We in fact have 15 dedicated machines for these patients. I am unaware who told they cannot be treated.”
They assured to do the procedure on Friday morning. But how has the patient been moving around all these hospitals and going back to his home if he was COVID positive? Corporation officials say they seem to have ‘overlooked’ the case. “When we visited, the family told the patient was at hospital. So, we assumed he was admitted. We did not know he was coming back to the house. We will ensure he is admitted by Friday,” said an official.
For the last three days, family members of a Covid patient have been running from pillar to post for his dialysis