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Denied treatment, patient dies

Agartala, Jan. 18: Negligence by hospital authorities has led to the death of a patient in the premier IGM hospital here yesterday.

Sources in the hospital said around 12.15 in the afternoon Shefali Deb, 71, had been brought to the hospital in a critical condition with severe breathing problems. Shefali had undergone treatment for orthopaedic problems at a private nursing home at Math Chowmuhuni here under Dr Shankar Halder since January 12. But Dr Halder referred her to IGM hospital yesterday because of severe breathing problem.

After bringing their mother to the hospital, the patientís son Pradip Deb and daughter Putul Deb contacted a nurse for admission and immediate treatment of their mother. The nurse advised them to take her to the emergency wing. On reaching there they were informed that the emergency ward would be opened only after the outpatient departments closed at 1pm.

As Shefaliís condition continued to deteriorate, her children along with other patients, started shouting and broke the emergency unit door. After 20 minutes a doctor arrived and advised the patient to be shifted to the female medical ward.

Shefali was then taken to the seventh floor. But there was no ward boy or nurse to help them shift her to a bed. At about 1.40pm, Shefali died on the stretcher.

The death sparked a massive furore in the seven-storied hospital. Hearing the ruckus, the resident medical officer of the hospital, Dr Digvijay Chowdhury, arranged to have Shefali shifted to the female ward where Dr Kalyan Debnath pronounced her dead.

A large team of police personnel from West Agartala police station arrived and brought the situation under control.

When contacted, Dr Radha Debbarma, superintendent of the hospital, said the matter would be investigated. He denied any negligence on the part of the hospital but said the truth would emerge from the inquiry.

Sources said during the past six months, at least five cases of deaths because of medical negligence and death without treatment have occurred at this hospital.