The ordeal that septuagenarian Dolly Gupta went through for the last three days demonstrates yet again that the poor rarely get proper medical attention in Bengal, even at a state-run hospital.
Gupta, who had been living in a drain within the Calcutta Medical College Hospital premises since June 20 after she was dumped there by the medical staff who refused to admit her, was, however, helped by a Good Samaritan on Sunday who rescued her.
She was finally admitted to the hospital’s surgery ward with Partha Sarathi Pathak, an architect, paying all her expenses. But the three days that Gupta spent in the drain - without food, water and medicine - speak volumes about the healthcare situation not just in Bengal but also in India. Hundreds of people, including the doctors, patients, saw Gupta, sobbing and pleading to them for help.
Hospital sources said that around 11 am on Sunday, a professional (Pathak) rescued Gupta and admitted her. “Please help me out of this drain and admit me. I need medicines,” Gupta (70), a resident of Barasat, had been saying to anyone who passed her.
Gupta, who is suffering from acute gangrene in her right leg, was dumped at the drain by some medical staff after her acquaintance, who had accompanied her to the hospital, slipped away on Thursday. Doctors said she would have to undergo surgery this week. Hospital sources said Gupta was not admitted as she was suffering from a contagious infection.
“I feel very disappointed because no one, except two doctors helped me. I borrowed money from friends,” Pathak said. He has been running a trust for two years now to help the poor. Gupta said her husband left her after she gave birth to a girl. “The doctors didn’t help me as they thought I have a mental disorder,” said Gupta.
Hospital superintendent Dibyendu Gautam said, “I can’t say when she was admitted or by whom.”