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Letter from Assam to shift patients

Patna, June 26: Three of the 14 injured passengers of the Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express tragedy were still being treated in Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) on Thursday.

However, the health department received a fax from the Assam government to admit the three patients to any of the three railway hospitals in Patna. Preparations were being made to send them to the hospitals by Thursday afternoon. Deepak Tandon, the chief casualty medical officer at PMCH, said: “We have received instructions from the health department to get in touch with the railway officials and make arrangements to send the three patients who are admitted at the surgical and medical ICU.”

He added that most of the patients voluntarily left the hospital on Wednesday.

“We let them go because their condition was not serious. Three patients are admitted in the two ICUs of the hospital. Their condition is stable. We have received instructions from the health department to transfer them to the railway hospital near Patna Junction by Thursday afternoon. The Assam government contacted the health department to say they will be taking care of the three patients. They will also make necessary arrangements to take them to their homes,” Tandon said.

Sources in the PMCH said none of the patients, who had left on Wednesday, has been given release certificates.

“There were complaints from patients on Wednesday evening after the Union health minister visited them. Some of them were restless because of the humidity, while others complained about alleged absence of urine pots. While leaving for their respective places, they said they would make their own arrangements. Hence, the release certificates could not be provided,” said a PMCH nurse.

She added: “We feel we did a great job, especially when the junior doctors on strike, didn’t turn up to help us in the crisis. All the patients were well attended to and medicines were provided on time.”

Among the patients who were still at the PMCH were Achinta Saikia, Rita Nath and Siwali Sharma.

P.C. Sharma, the husband of Siwali, who is admitted at the surgical ICU, said: “My wife has suffered rib fractures. Still we want to leave PMCH. There are frequent power cuts in the ICU. It takes a while to restore power. There aren’t many waiting rooms. We were forced to take a room in a hotel on Exhibition Road. We will be shifting her Thursday itself.”