Many COVID-19 patients dying in transit as private hospitals deny admission in Telangana

Quite a number of cases have come to light of families taking their end-stage respiratory distressed kin from one private hospital to another for medical intervention only to be denied admission.

Published: 01st July 2020 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2020 11:30 AM   |  A+A-


A worker of Secunderabad Cantonment Board spraying disinfectant on a tree at Mahindra Hills in Hyderabad. (File photo| S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Owing to utter confusion and lack of transparency on availability of beds in hospitals, many suspected COVID-19 patients, especially those who suffer from breathlessness, are left to die at the gates of hospitals or in ambulances when they are being shifted from one facility to another. Some are even breathing their last within hours of being admitted in the hospitals.

Quite a number of cases have come to light of families taking their end-stage respiratory distressed kin from one private hospital to another for medical intervention only to be denied admission. The moment it is known that the case is of breathlessness, the patient is being informed of non-availability of beds as a result of which the patient is losing precious time. The New Indian Express has learnt of at least three to four such cases where people took patients to multiple hospitals only to see their loved ones die in transit.

“His death was so unfair,” said grief-stricken Rohit Krishna, son of a patient who passed away at the entrance of a private hospital in Ameerpet. “We went to four private hospitals hoping someone would admit him. But the moment they saw it was a case of breathlessness, they refused entry and asked us to go to another hospital as the condition is serious,” Krishna, a resident of Banjara Hills, added. 

Their ordeal lasted from 10 pm on June 25 till 2 am the next day, when his father breathed his last. During that time, they changed three oxygen cylinders inside the ambulance without any expert support. “When one hospital refuses, the fear kicks in and when all of them reject, you are left searching the internet which also is of no use,” he said.

In a similar case, a family from Attapur lost their father after six hospitals refused to admit him. The victim, who was a manager in a famous theatre in the city, first complained of breathlessness on June 26. He was admitted in a private hospital and was put on a ventilator, but he passed away the next day. On Monday, the family was informed that he was COVID  positive. In another case, as many as eight hospitals refused to admit a 51-year-old blood cancer patient with COVID-19. The patient passed away after about 14 days of severe progression in cancer.

Though the government has on multiple occasions maintained that there are beds in government hospitals, the patients and their attendants are not aware as to where they should go, when the need arises. There is also no mechanism in place like a bed tracking app or website update to show patients the availability of beds or the process to follow when an emergency occurs.

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