Infant dies in ambulance in Odisha, couple claims driver took long lunch break
The district coordinator of Ziqitza Healthcare Limited that operates the fleet of 108 ambulance, denied of any delay by the driver.Updated: Aug 11, 2020 08:14 IST
A couple in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district claimed that their one-year-old son, who needed medical attention, died due to a long lunch break taken by the ambulance driver.
The baby boy of couple Niranjan Behera and Geeta Behera was admitted to PRM Medical College and Hospital in Baripada town on Sunday after developing diarrhoea-like conditions. However, the hospital authorities referred the baby to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack on Monday as his condition turned serious.
But soon after the 108 ambulance, with infant and his parents onboard, left the PRM Medical College and Hospital, the driver and the pharmacist decided to have lunch break at a roadside dhaba. The couple said that both of them promised come back quickly.
After waiting in the ambulance for an hour, Biranjan Behera, the father of the child went to the eatery where the driver and the pharmacist were having lunch. However, they fobbed him off saying they were aware of the condition of the child.
“They came after about 90 minutes and by then it was all over. Had the driver and the pharmacist not taken a long lunch-break my nephew would have been alive now,” claimed Paramanand Behera, maternal uncle of the deceased child.
After the ambulance resumed its journey for Cuttack, the child’s condition turned more serious and at Krishanachandrapur area, 10 km from Baripada, it collapsed. The baby was admitted to the Krishanachandrapur community health centre, where the doctor declared the baby dead on arrival.
Enraged, the parents and other people attacked the pharmacist and the driver. They also lodged a complaint against them at the police outpost of Krishanachandrapur.
However, Sayan Bose, district coordinator of Ziqitza Healthcare Limited that operates the fleet of 108 ambulance, denied of any delay by the ambulance driver. “They had gone for lunch for just 20 minutes,” he said.
Last month, a 46-year-old man in Berhampur town of Odisha died after his relatives and the ambulance driver fought over the latter’s delay in arrival. In another incident last month, a 42-year-old man in Berhampur town died at his home after an ambulance driver refused to take him to hospital suspecting that he was a Covid-19 patient.