Sarika (16), a tenth standard student of a government school, was a regular patient at Kancheepuram government hospital who was undergoing dialysis every week.
As her condition deteriorated, she was admitted in hospital’s inpatient ward last week. On Sunday noon, her condition became critical and the doctors there referred her to Rajiv Gandhi government general hospital in Chennai. Though hospital has 2 ambulances, the absence of drivers on Sunday afternoon saw the ambulance service being reportedly denied to Sarika.
Her poor weaver father, Anandan, ran from post to pillar to get his daughter an ambulance but in vain. While Sarika was fighting for her life, other patients and relatives demanded immediate ambulance facility. But the hospital management remained unresponsive and they did not give a proper reply, alleged a relative.
Some contacted Kancheepuram district collector P. Ponnaiah and he assured an ambulance. After the collector talked to the management, the hospital provided an ambulance within 5 minutes at 7 pm. How could the hospital management arrange ambulance within minutes after the collector’s order, while Sarika was struggling for more than 7 hours, relatives asked. But Sarika died on the way to Chennai and this created tension among locals.
Ponnaiah assured that an enquiry would be conducted and actions would be taken against hospital management.