CUDDALORE: After the Cuddalore Government Hospital allegedly denied treatment to an injured woman citing the lack of an insurance card, the patient was forced to visit the Collectorate to apply for one. S Baby (60) was accompanied by Collector K Balasubramaniam to the Collectorate in an ambulance on Tuesday. Pictures of Baby on a stretcher at the Collectorate went viral on social media platforms.
According to a local source, Baby of KN Pettai village near Thiruvandhipuram lives alone and last week, she slipped and fractured her left leg. Her neighbours rushed her to the Government General Hospital in Cuddalore for treatment. On consultation, the doctors said she would need to get a plate surgery done.
"However, hospital staff asked for an insurance card for the X-ray and further treatment. As she didn't have an insurance card, they asked us to apply for one immediately to get treatment," said her neighbours. After the neighbours approached the insurance card-issuing section in the Collector's office, officials asked them to bring her or her blood relatives. This was despite the neighbours' explaining the situation, added sources.
Following that, they arranged an ambulance and took her to the Collectorate. She was then taken to the respective office on a stretcher. Residents shared photos of this incident on social media sites, demanding action against officials.
Meanwhile, official sources from the Collector's office said, the patient had been asked to come directly as per the rule. But she had been given priority as she came by ambulance, she explained, adding that Cuddalore district didn't have the facility to visit patients in the hospital and issue insurance cards.
Speaking to TNIE, a senior official from Cuddalore Government General Hospital said, "The staff asked the patient for an insurance card, without informing the hospital administration." A meeting was held on Wednesday and the officials were warned against this, the source said. "Hospital staff was instructed to intimate the hospital administration regarding such cases. In the future, arrangements will be made to issue the cards in hospital by respective officials." Treatment will be given without waiting for the insurance card, assured the senior official.