A patient with severe mobility problems has been left moving around in a Hyderabad hospital for treatment on a kids’ tricycle of his son after he was allegedly denied a wheelchair by the authorities as the patient had no money to pay for it.
The state-run Gandhi Hospital authorities on Saturday constituted a committee to probe into the allegations that a patient was denied wheelchair for being unable to pay “bribes.”
S Raju in his 40s, along with his wife, had been visiting the hospital for a follow-up treatment for burn injuries that he had suffered due to electrical shock last August. They reside in Begumpet area in Hyderabad.
His wife Santoshi has alleged that as she did not have money to pay “tips” to the ward-boys, her husband was not given wheelchairs and had to use a tricycle to move around the hospital.
Santoshi said they had been coming to the hospital for the treatment and the doctors had told her that her husband, a painter, needs to undergo surgery. But the hospital authorities have been postponing it on various pretexts, including paucity of beds, she alleged.
She further said as ward-boys had been demanding Rs 100 to Rs 200 for providing wheelchair, she had been bringing their son’s tricycle to the hospital during their visits.
At least on five to six occasions I paid the amount. But, on Wednesday, I was not able to pay because I did not have the money. I brought this tricycle to the hospital and made my husband sit on it to move around in the hospital premises for treatmentSantoshi, Patient’s wife
She further alleged “they are creating problems... It is such a big government hospital.. they should help.”
“Earlier my husband underwent treatment at the hospital for almost 100 days and I had to spend money for getting injections and bed covers,” said Santoshi.
Meanwhile, Gandhi Hospital’s superintendent Dr Manjula was quoted by PTI saying: “We have not got any written complaint from the attendants’ of the patient. However, on the basis of media reports, we have constituted an enquiry committee to look into the matter.
“A report is likely to be submitted within a day. Based on the report, the necessary action will be initiated against those responsible for the incident.”
Dr Manjula said the patient, who had suffered electric burns, had undergone treatment at the hospital for over three months and he himself got discharged against the medical advise, though he had been visiting the hospital as outpatient.
“Now he is on a follow-up medication and next week he is again scheduled to come to the hospital,” she said.
Responding to the incident, Telangana minister K T Rama Rao said he spoke to the superintendent of the hospital to enquire about the incident.
“My office contacted the family and we will ensure they are helped,” he tweeted.