Amid 41 new cases of dengue reported in Ludhiana, the first death due to disease occurred in the city on Saturday raising fears among the residents. However, doctors and experts claimed that mosquitoes causing dengue are breeding more at homes than on streets and elsewhere.
Relatives and associates of Muzaam, 27, who died of dengue held a protest demonstration on Saturday morning after the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) authorities refused to hand over his body in absence of payment of the bill. The hospital authorities later gave "heavy concession" and handed over the body.
Muzaam worked at a gold shop in Ludhiana and belonged to Kolkata. One of the protesters Gursharan Singh said more than 18 bottles of blood were used during the treatment. He said even the sister of the dengue patient was not allowed to meet him on Friday evening and on Saturday morning a bill of nearly `76,000 was handed over to the family after his death.
"First of all the hospital authorities were not able to save Muzaam and handed over a hefty bill to the poor family. The protest was held against the "insensitive" attitude of the hospital over making an ailment of a poor patient a business," alleged Gursharan Singh. The hospital authorities were swift in giving "concession" and claimed that no amount was charged thereafter. Medical superintendent of the CMCH Dr William Bhatti said the patient was suffering from serious stage of dengue when he was brought to the hospital for treatment. "Why would we not want that a patient is saved from any disease?" he said.
"When a patient is brought to the hospital then it becomes our responsibility to save the patient. The patient who was already suffering from dengue tried to get himself treated from outside and an injection was also administered to him somewhere before coming to the hospital," said Bhatti.
He said a protest against hospitals has become a trend, "but people should understand that doctors are here to treat not to kill patients".
Even as the CMCH confirmed that the death took place due to dengue, the health officials stated that they have so far not received a report from the hospital.
District epidomologist Dr Ramesh Kumar said the report regarding reason for the death of patient at the CMCH has not been received till Saturday evening.