I was made to walk 3km to hospital in Dombivli: Covid patientUpdated: May 22, 2020 00:46 IST
A 26-year-old Covid patient from Dombivli complained that he had to walk to Shastrinagar civic hospital in Dombivli on Thursday as the municipal corporation did not send an ambulance even after repeatedly calls.
He alleged that the hospital staff asked him to walk to the hospital, which is 3km away, as an ambulance was not available.
He called up the local social worker Bala Mhatre, 50, who along with five others accompanied him till the hospital by maintaining social distancing. They also shot a video of him posted it on the social media to draw the attention of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation.
“After my Covid report on Wednesday showed I was infected, I was asked to wait at home till an ambulance is sent by the civic hospital staff. On Thursday morning, I called up the Shastrinagar hospital for ambulance but they said there was no ambulance available. They asked me to walk to the hospital as arranging an ambulance would take time,” said the patient, who works as ward boy at Wadia hospital in Parel.
His 52-year-old relative, who had tested positive, died on May 16. “I attended his funeral and his test report came after his death. I decided to get tested,” he said.
After he tested positive, neighbours got scared and insisted he leave the building soon.
“How can the civic hospital ask a patient to walk to the hospital? Although he does not have any symptom, this is not the way to treat a patient?”said Mhatre.
At Shastrinagar hospital, he was kept waiting for almost three hours and then taken to Tata Amantra quarantine centre on Kalyan-Bhiwandi road.
Suhasini Badekar, chief medical officer of Shastrinagar civic hospital, said, “The patient should have waited at home till the ambulance arrived. Our staff did not ask him to walk to the hospital. Since Covid cases are on the rise, ambulances are not enough. Private ambulances often refuse to ply.”
She added that the hospital has two ambulances and they have hired a private one.
“The chief medical officer of Shastrinagar hospital coordinates and arranges ambulance for all Covid patients,” said Pratibha Patil, epidemic officer, KDMC.
There are four civic ambulances -- two at Rukminibai hospital in Kalyan and two at Shastrinagar hospital in Dombivli. There are four private ambulances in Dombivli and five in Kalyan for Covid patients.
A senior officer from KDMC health department said, “If there is a delay in the arrival of an ambulance, a patient should wait. The civic staff will coordinate and send an ambulance as soon as it is available.”