Even as the State government has announced it will provide free treatment to all those who were injured during cyclone, some are still struggling to get assistance in Berhampur. Kautuki Das (75) had been seriously injured when a wall collapsed on her at Hillpatna area of the cityon October12 night. Her daughter Nivedita Pandey (42) and grandson Avinash Pandey (28) had also been injured in this incident.

Kautuki died while undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in the city. Nivedita is still undergoing treatment in the same hospital. But as per allegation made by Kautuki’s other daughter Jayanti Mishra, a theatre activist, her mother could not get the free treatment promised by the government and the medical authorities are also not ready to reimburse the cost of treatment incurred from Oct ober12 night to October 15. “Our plight started from Oct 12 night when the official ambulances denied to come over to carry the three injured persons of my family to the medical college hospital. I had to hire a private vehicle to take them to hospital. When we reached the casualty section of the hospital we were asked to buy every thing needed including the thread needed to stitch the wounds,” Ms Jayanti said.

Their plight did not end as the medical college authorities made them buy all medicines and other things needed fro treatment while Kautaki was admitted in the surgery ward. Kautaki’s tests including CT scan were asked to be done in private diagnostic centres. Kautaki was transferred from the surgery ward to neurosurgery ward on Oct 15, where she died after two days.

As per Ms Jayanti, she had spent around Rs. 25,000 on treatment of her mother and sister and the medical authorities were not ready to reimburse the amount although the State government had declared for free treatment and Kautaki had a health insurance card which was not taken into account by the medical college authorities. Leaders of the city unit of the CPI (M) intervened in her matter and only after that the medical college authorities agreed to provide free treatment to Nivedita from Oct 17. “After much persuasion, the superintendent of the medical college has now agreed to reimburse the cost of treatment of my mother while she was in the neurosurgery ward but it is only around Rs. 2500. ,” Jayanti said.