Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hospital negligence claims woman's life in Bhopal

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Salamat Ali is inconsolable. His 25-year-old wife Tajbunissa died at the Indira Gandhi Gas Relief hospital in Bhopal on Thursday afternoon and he wasn't even told until the evening.

Tajbunissa, two and a half months pregnant, had gone for an abortion and a tubectomy. But after the surgery, she never regained consciousness.

Salamat is sure his wife died due to negligence of the doctors.

''After the tubectomy operation, she never gained consciousness and when she started bleeding form her nose and mouth, I desperately tried to call the doctors but there was no one,'' said Salamat Ali, victim's husband.

Hospital authorities claim Tajbunissa died of pulmonary oedema or fluid in the lungs, followed by a cardiac arrest.

Callous attitude

An FIR has been filed and the police are investigating the death. Salamat also says he was asked to take his wife's body away without making a fuss. He says the hospital even offered him a compensation of Rs three lakh.

Other patients at the hospital say the incident has exposed the irregularities at the hospital where the staff is greedy and careless.

''Over here even the guards ask for money. Nurses say 'Give me Rs 500 only then I will change the bottle,'' said Avinash Jain, patient.

There are six hospitals in Bhopal to cater to all those affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy. There are also seven mini dispensaries.

But patients say most of them are severely understaffed and lack even the basic amenities.

''The gas relief hospitals are going form bad to worse. This is not simply a case of negligence or even criminal negligence, it's a case of criminal offence,'' said Abdul Jabber, Convener, Bhopal Gas Victims Organisation.

Already suffering from the after-effects of a disaster, these people seem to get little but apathy at these hospitals set up to help them.

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