Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Burla, Jun 20:
Two recent incidents at the state-run VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) here have proved what has been obvious for a while now: shortage of attendants has put the lives of patients at this pre-eminent referral hospital in the whole of western Odisha at God’s mercy.
In the first of these two incidents, an elderly man died unmourned on Friday after remaining unattended for close to three weeks. He had been admitted in the Orthopaedic department of the hospital, dubbed as the lifeline of western Odisha, with deep wounds on May 30. The frail patient’s address was registered in the in-patient record as Faridabad, Uttar Pradesh. He had none of his relatives besides him as an attendant to take care of him. Neither was he provided medical care nor food. There was no one to claim the body after he dies yesterday either.
In another incident, the body of a man who died in a road accident lay unattended for hours because there was no attendant to shift the deceased to the mortuary.
Two trauma patients, severely injured in a road accident near Bhatli Road Chandi temple, were referred from Bargarh Sadar Hospital to VIMSAR in a critical condition on Thursday night.
While one Binod Swain (58) from Biden died on the way to hospital, the other person identified as Mohan Nayak slipped into coma. The ambulance dropped the patients in the hospital and left. The body of Swain remained unguarded in the corridors of the hospital all day.
It is alleged that the Steward department is unable to provide enough attendants for patient care because of inadequate staff. Moreover, it is alleged that the existing staff do not provide service unless they are given tips.
Interestingly, several voluntary organisations have been engaged in the hospital to provide free service to patients as attendants. It is alleged that these organisations are also not doing their duties if they are not provided their dues by the Red Cross Society of India.
Even the police are also finding it difficult to persuade the staff to get the post-mortem done on unclaimed bodies, a hospital staff said on condition of anonymity.