The Alappuzha Medical College Hospital (AMCH) at Vandanam here is in the centre of a controversy after a patient, a youngster who was rendered immobile and suffered memory loss after an accident, was allegedly turned away without being admitted.

The patient, Rajeev, 24, an electrician hailing from Vettiyar in Mavelikara, had sustained critical injuries in a two-wheeler accident at Mavelikara on June 28, following which he was rushed to the Mavelikara Government Hospital. However, following lack of advanced treatment facilities there, he was shifted to a private hospital at Thiruvalla.

According to his brother-in-law T.C. Prasad, the treatment at the private hospital was costly and they suggested shifting Rajeev to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital (KMCH) the same day. Rajeev underwent a surgery at the KMCH on June 29. Though he has survived a critical phase, he still is unable to stand on his feet and has a severe loss of memory even 20 days after the surgery. With KMCH authorities telling the family that it would be better to shift him to the AMCH since they had no vacant beds to admit Rajeev, the family brought Rajeev to the AMCH around 3 p.m. on Friday.

“He was put in the observation room till Saturday noon with just one duty doctor coming and examining him. By Saturday evening, they told us that they could not treat him and that we would have to shift him to somewhere else. When we asked for time till Monday, they refused and said we would have to leave the place immediately. Despite the heavy rain, we then brought Rajeev to my house near Chungom in Alappuzha. The behaviour of the staff was callous and shocking,” says Prasad.

After reports on the incident appeared in vernacular dailies on Monday, Rajeev was admitted to the Alappuzha General Hospital. However, the family is still concerned on the specialty treatment that Rajeev might require to regain his memory and to be back on his feet again.

“His father runs a small shop and the family is financially weak. We do not know exactly what the future is,” Prasad says.

Meanwhile, the Alappuzha Prathikarana Vedi, a non-governmental organisation, has decided to move the court on the issue. Vedi president A.K. Nizamuddin will file a public interest litigation in the Alappuzha Sessions Court on Tuesday, demanding that a commission be set up to probe how a hospital could dish out such inhumane treatment to a patient. AMCH authorities were not available for comment.

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