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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Facebook gives a lease of life to dying 70-year-old

Joydeep Thakur, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, October 14, 2013
First Published: 10:58 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:01 IST(14/10/2013)

Facebook came to the rescue of a critical septuagenarian patient but not before he got a taste of the ugly side of the city when he was denied admission by a multi-specialty hospital for trying to avail treatment for cerebral attack under the state government’s health scheme.

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It was on Monday afternoon that Radhapada Mondol (70) suffered a cerebral attack in his Birati home and was rushed to the hospital on EM Bypass by his wife Dipika (65).

The hospital authorities soon started their routine tests, including an MRI scan, and later suggested that the patient needs to be admitted fast.

“It was at this point of time that my mother informed them that the treatment would be done under the West Bengal Health Scheme. Soon after knowing it, the hospital authorities did a U-turn, saying they don’t have any bed,” said Milan Kanti Mondol, divisional manager of the West Bengal Forest Corporation (south) and Radhapada’s son.

Milan, who is a government employee, can avail the state government’s health scheme for his family and dependent parents. He, however, lives in Kharapur and hence couldn’t come to his father’s help immediately when the attack took place.

Repeated requests to the hospital authorities fell on deaf ears.

The old woman even managed to contact minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya but even she pleaded helplessness, as it was a private hospital.

Radhapada was left to rot for nearly six hours in the emergency ward unattended while Dipika sat by him in a helpless manner only watching him sinking every minute.

Meanwhile, she tried to ring up for help but her efforts failed to yield results.

“On my way to Kolkata, I even contacted a senior police officer. Even he tried to help but to no avail. I reached the hospital around 6 pm and was shocked to see my father lying unattended,” Milan said.

It was at this point of time that a Facebook friend, whom Milan had befriended two years ago, came to his rescue.

“I had met Dr Partha Sen who is associated with AMRI Hospital in Salt Lake as a consultant anesthesiologist. Even though we are from different professions, we had one common interest - wildlife photography,” said Milan.

When Milan contacted Sen, he called back soon after and asked Milan to bring his father to the Salt Lake hospital. “I and Milan are facebook friends and we met nearly two years ago. I am happy that I could come to his help,” said Sen.

Radhapada was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the ICU.

Treatment was started almost immediately. He is still in a critical state.

Milan’s family plans to lodge a complaint with the local police, state health department and the chief minister’s office against the hospital along EM Bypass.


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