TODAY -

Denied treatment in hospital, teenager dies of drug overdose: CoNE
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 23 2020: Even as the Government had issued strict instructions to all Government and private hospitals to entertain all emergency patients seeking treatment, a teenage boy lost his life after he was denied drug-overdose treatment at the District Hospital Thoubal on October 20, said CoNE president, Nalinikanta Rajkumar today.

Addressing media persons at its Keishamthong Hodam Leirak officer, the CoNE (Community Network for Empowerment) president said the teenager, Mutum Nelson (16), son of M Shyam and M Premila of Thoubal Kiyam was an international martial artist who had received accolades of National and international repute.

Mutum Nelson, the 16-year-old was brought at the District Hospital Thoubal for drug overdose treatment by his family members on October 20 at around 1 pm.

As they reached the hospital and entered the Casualty, they were allegedly stopped by the security personnel of the hospital.

The security personnel told them that since a doctor of the hospital had tested positive for COVID-19, the area had been sanitized and as such "no one is allowed to enter the hospital premises for any reason whatsoever" .

Without giving any opportunity to the family members to give the reason (for visiting the hospital), the security personnel allegedly denied treatment at the hospital and forced them to leave "immediately", said Nalinikanta.

"As they had no other option, they left the hospital and went home and contacted an NGO working in the field of drugs after which, the staff of the NGO arrived at the house of the victim after a gap of about four hours.

But unfortunately, they could not save the boy even after administering three ampoules of Naloxone," he added.

Condemning the attitude of the authorities concerned in dealing with the patients at the time of coronavirus outbreak, Nalinikanta said, "It has been learnt from previous incidents that health care service providers have been taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and denying basic health care services to the most needy people thereby leading to their untimely and unwanted death, which is very unfortunate".

Further, when CoNE made an inspection visit at the District Hospital Thoubal, it was found that there was no stock of Naloxone at the Casualty.

The hospital was supposed to have the life-saving drug "round the clock".

On further investigation, the drug was found stored at the ART Centre.

Usually, the drug is to be indented from the ART Centre by the Casualty Department as and when there is shortage of the drug, he said adding it clearly indicated "lack of coordination" among the line departments of the hospital and "complete system failure" .

Strongly condemning the incident, Nalinikanta asserted that while such cases have been worsened by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the matter (case) could have been the same as the "system has completely failed" .

All the authorities concerned including the Health Department and Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) need to look into these issues with seriousness and take action to stop such incidents in future.

Moreover, the coronavirus outbreak should not be the reason to deny access to health care services to all those who need treatment for other ailments and emergencies, Nalinikanta said.


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