Kolkata: A 32-year-old van puller from Jalpaiguri, who was allegedly refused admission to multiple hospitals after meeting with an accident, was given a bed at SSKM Hospital only after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee intervened, his family claimed on Wednesday. “SSKM kept referring us to almost all the city’s government hospitals, citing scarcity of beds,” said Bablu Rehman, a neighbour of Sahadul Alam, the patient.
As per sources, Alam had met with an accident at around 8 am on Monday. He was taken to Birpara State General Hospital, from where he was referred to North Bengal Medical College, and then to SSKM Hospital.
“We reached SSKM at 6 pm on Tuesday. We were told there was no bed, and that we had to go to NRS hospital in Sealdah… NRS told us that they too had no bed. We went back to SSKM; from there we were sent to Samhunath Pandit Hospital. Within 10 minutes, they informed us no bed was available, and if we were okay with keeping the patient on the floor, they would start treatment. We went to SSKM again, and then to Chittaranjan National Medical Hospital, where again we couldn’t get a bed. We then came back to SSKM, and kept our patient in a car from morning 3 am till 8 am,” Rehman reportedly told.
The family then decided to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her Kalighat residence. “Though we couldn’t meet her, she heard about the matter. We were escorted by four police officers, and within 40 minutes, our patient not only got a bed, but also an air-conditioned room,” said Rehman. Questioning the changed stance, he further said: “It is sad that one has to meet the CM to get a bed for treatment… Doesn’t this mean we were being refused despite beds being available?” SSKM Hospital did not respond to calls for a comment.