The ransacked nurses’ office. (Surajit Roy)
Malda, Sept. 5: The paediatric ward of Malda Medical College and Hospital was ransacked last night following the death of two boys who had been admitted there with fever.
Around 80 people, who alleged that the children died because of “negligence,” also heckled the medical staff, nurses and the doctors on duty.
Trouble started around 8pm after Masud Sheikh, 9, and Amit Ruhidas, 10, died.
Masud, a resident of Alipur in Kaliachak, had been admitted around 3pm yesterday. Amit from Kamarpara in Balurghat was hospitalised on Monday evening.
Masud’s mother Taslima Bibi said a doctor had checked the boy when he was admitted but after that no one attended to him. “When I realised that my son was very ill, I approached the nurses. They were very rude. No one came to attend to my son and he died around 8pm,” she said.
Amit’s uncle Paban Ruhidas said: “A doctor came in the morning but after that no one visited the ward. This is nothing but negligence.”
Soon after the boys died, angry relatives and local people started ransacking the nurses’ chambers in the paedriatic ward. They smashed glass panes and broke wooden chairs.
“The mob did not have any regard for others admitted there. We all panicked. I picked up my son and a saline bottle that was attached to his bed and fled. I ran to the emergency ward and stayed there for sometime. I was very scared. I returned when the mob left after 30 minutes. Many other women also fled the ward with their babies,” said Nasima Bibi.
Sources said there were 88 children admitted to the ward that can accommodate 50.
“The allegation of medical negligence is incorrect. Both the boys were admitted in a critical condition,” said the principal of the medical college, Uchhal Bhadra. He added that an FIR had been lodged with the Englishbazar police.
“Who will take responsibility of the damage? The mob made the patients flee and threatened our staff. I have asked the police to identify the people and take action. The hospital is under tremendous pressure. It is not possible for us to stand beside the beds all day. There is a tradition in the district that children are brought to us when they are critical. We are trying our best,” Bhadra said.