The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Double trouble in hospital twin deaths
- Lawyer sues SSKM over mother’s demise, Rajnis father threatens to go legal

Nineteen days after Rajnis Patel, 17, died at SSKM Hospital on June 1 — following complications arising out of a fractured leg — the 70-year-old mother of Calcutta High Court advocate Asim Ganguly succumbed, in the same hospital, to a “not-very-serious” cardiac condition.

Ganguly last week filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the state of affairs at SSKM Hospital. The case comes up for hearing before a division bench, to be presided over by Chief Justice A.K. Mathur, in a few days.

By then, the young cricketer’s family promises to be in court with a PIL against the same hospital. Manoj Patel, Rajnis’ father, said on Sunday: “I want everyone involved in my son’s death punished… I am moving court early next week to seek justice.”

The beleaguered state health department has convened a meeting of hospital heads later this week. “I have nothing to say about the PIL (filed by advocate Ganguly), but the government will do what it can to improve the standard of care,” director of medical education Chittaranjan Maity said. “We will sit with the hospital superintendents in a few days to find out solutions to the problems.”

Ganguly, whose mother Annapurna died on June 20, had a tragic taste of some of the problems that the health department honchos will be meeting to discuss. “The apathetic attitude of doctors and nurses and the pathetic state of hospital wards cannot be described in words,” Ganguly has alleged in his petition. “The sub-standard food can hardly be consumed and my mother, unable to bear the inhuman conditions, succumbed to her cardiac ailment that was not serious at all,” he added.

During his brief visits to the hospital, Ganguly observed how touts lorded over the various wards and extorted money from patients by promising “prompt service”. Ganguly has also referred to the several broken-down machines in the hospital’s laboratories. “On several occasions, doctors asked me to get my mother’s blood tested at private centres, as the in-house machines would not work,” he stated, seeking an inquiry by a “special team to find some permanent solutions”.

What a father who has lost his son (Manoj Patel) and a son who has lost his mother (Asim Ganguly) are now saying has been a common complaint, from patients and healthcare groups alike. Now, the Indian Medical Association has threatened a large protest movement against the “total mismanagement” in government hospitals, where “sophisticated machinery” do not function and touts extort money for services the government is paid for.

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