Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 13:
In what constitutues a stinging indictment of the gross apathy at government hospitals in Odisha, a 29-year-old man died while waiting for his turn, OPD ticket in hand, to be seen by the doctor at the Capital Hospital here on Friday.
The deceased, identified as LB Rao, had visited the hospital with severe pain and stress yesterday for a health check-up. After procuring the outpatient department (OPD) ticket by paying the outdoor consulting fee of Rs 5, Rao went to the medicine department to see the doctor, but found him 23 in the wait list/
Rao literally begged with hospital staff to be allowed to jump the queue as his pain was unbearable, but the staff would have none of it.
When his repeated requests went unheard, he asked the staff to call him when his turn comes. Unable to bear the pain, the frail man lay on the floor of the OPD with his blank prescription in hand. By the time his ‘turn’ finally came and the OPD staff called out his name, he had breathed his last.
He was declared dead and the police outpost staff in the hospital premises recovered the body.
Emotions ran high when people present in the spot came to know about the apathetic attitude of the staff. They denounced the slipshod attitude of the authorities as a life could have been saved had they treated the case on priority as required by the severity of the illness.
Rao’s death brought out another fact that normally goes unnoticed: the mandatory fields in the OPD ticket are not filled properly. In Rao’s case, his address was inscribed as Bhubaneswar which makes it a complicated task for the hospital staff and police alike to trace the address details of the patient.
The body was kept in the mortuary as post-mortem could not be performed yesterday.
“The address of the deceased is unknown. Nobody has claimed his body yet. As we could not contact his family members, the autopsy will be performed after they arrive,” Police Outpost in-charge Sarat Kumar Behera said.