The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Turned away from hospital, patient dies

Calcutta, April 8: A 21-year-old who had suffered serious chest and head injuries in an accident was allegedly turned away from SSKM Hospital. He died on his way home.

Ramesh Bhuian was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state.

But a nurse on duty only provided first aid to the young man and then asked the family to take Ramesh home at midnight.

The family today lodged a complaint at West Port police station alleging medical negligence.

'Initially, he was denied admission by the hospital authorities. At midnight, the nurse on duty asked his family members to take him back after administering only first aid,' Kanchan Raha, officer-in-charge at the police station, said.

Ramesh, a resident of Garden Reach Road, was knocked down by a truck after it collided with another near Netaji Subhas dock around 8.35 pm yesterday. Some Calcutta Port employees found him lying in a pool of blood and rushed him to a nursing home nearby.

A doctor at the nursing home confirmed that Ramesh had suffered serious injuries on his head and chest and had also fractured a rib. After an hour, his condition deteriorated and he was taken to SSKM as the nursing home authorities said they were not equipped to deal with such cases.

Around 10 pm, when Ramesh was taken to the emergency ward in SSKM, the doctor and nurse on duty 'denied him admission saying there was no bed available', Rakesh, the youth's father, alleged.

'When we insisted on getting him admitted, the nurse became furious but told us to wait. I had no option but to put my son on the floor. After an hour's wait the nurse came and administered first aid.'

Rakesh said by that time his son had lost consciousness. 'The nurse gave me some medicines and asked me to take him back saying he would be fine. We took a taxi to return but my son died on the way. They robbed me of my son,' said Rakesh, who runs a transport business.

Ramesh was his only son.

'My son was in serious condition and needed immediate medical care. Some of my relatives asked me not to take him to SSKM. But I insisted as it is a premier hospital in the city.'

When contacted this afternoon, a doctor in the emergency ward in SSKM said: 'I am not aware of what happened last night. But it is very sad if he was not attended to properly. I cannot make any further comment.'

Santanu Tripathi, SSKM superintendent, said he would look into the matter. 'I was not in town and returned today,' he said. Told that the family had lodged a complaint, he said: 'I will go to office on Monday and an inquiry will be initiated.'

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