One of the injured, Pamma, with his relatives during the protest.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
One of the injured, Pamma, with his relatives during the protest.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Victims of Amritsar train tragedy say private hospitals charged fee for treatment

DC says one of the hospitals has been found guilty during probe, told to refund money to patient
By Mandeep Kaur Narula | Hindustan Times, Amritsar, Amritsar
UPDATED ON OCT 22, 2018 11:51 AM IST

Though the state government has announced to provide free treatment to all the injured of Jaura Phatak train tragedy that claimed 61 lives, some of the injured along with their family members staged a protest at the accident site here on Sunday alleging that the private hospitals are charging fee for the treatment.

At around 12:00pm, as many as 50 protesters gathered on the railway lines and raised slogans against the district administration and private hospitals. 

Pamma, an injured, along with his mother Sonia, laid down on the railway track to protest against private hospital for charging money. He said, “I was admitted to the city-based Amandeep Hospital and they asked me to pay money for the treatment. This is really sad and terrible.” 

As the protesters tried to block the railway track, police officials intervened and shifted the protesting injured to the civil hospital for further treatment free of cost. 

Prabhjot Singh, ACP, who helped Pamma said, “When doctors checked his leg injuries, his was found faking the injury. He is completely fine now, but still as a precautionary measure he has been referred to government hospital so that further tests can be done.”

Refuting the claims made by the protesters, an official from Amandeep Hospital, Deepak, said, “Since Friday, we have been providing free of cost treatment to all the train mishap, who have come here for the treatment. We have not taken any money from any victim of the train accident.”

We demand probe into these allegations, he added.

“I rushed to Kumar Hospital after the accident. Despite the announcement for the free treatment, they charged me 1,500 for stitches on my head. I paid the money as I had no other option at that time, however, later I went to civil hospital for the treatment,” another injured Krishna said.  

However, Dr Satiesh Malik of Kumar Hospital said, “We have not charged any money from the victims. Only three of them came to us for the consultancy here, but we referred them to government hospital.” 

Karmandeep Singh, whose arm and leg were injured in the mishap said, “After the accident, my friends did not wait for an ambulance and rushed me to Prem Rai Hospital on a bike. They charged us around 20,000 for the treatment. Now, I am getting the treatment done from civil hospital”. 

Deputy commissioner Kamaljit Singh Sangha, “We are looking into the allegations made by the injured. Meanwhile, in Karamdeep Singh’s case, on investigation it was found that Prem Rai Hospital charged him for some medication and CT scan. We will make sure that his money is refunded soon.”

We are also looking into other cases and will investigate as soon as possible. Moreover, we will refund the money if the allegations are found true, he added.

“We have more than 40 doctors to treat the train mishap injured. Doctors from civil hospital, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur, have also reached here for treating the injured. We have enough medicines and blood required for the treatment,” said Dr Charanjit Singh, senior medical officer, civil hospital.

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