“Had he been given timely treatment, he would have been saved’’

A Sri Lankan refugee, G. Chandrasekaran, 29, died at the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences at Kalapet on Sunday, sparking a protest by family and friends who alleged medical negligence.

Chandrasekaran was a resident of the Keezhputhupattu refugee camp in Villupuram.

His cousin Mayuran said he was brought to the hospital after he complained of stomach ache. The staff at the emergency centre gave him an injection and waited for over 20 minutes before they attended to him, saying the chief doctor was not around. By then, Chandrasekaran started complaining of shoulder pain.

Mayuran alleged that the staff also fumbled with the ECG, by which time Chandrasekaran looked pale and his eyes seemed to go out of focus. “Had he been given timely treatment, my brother would have been saved,” Mayuran said.

Family members and friends, around 150 of whom gathered for a protest at the hospital, said Chandrasekaran died 2 hours after admission. The body was taken to the Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital for post mortem, Mayuran said.

Inspector K. Varadarajan of the Kalapet station said a case was filed under Section 174 (Suspicious death) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC), on the complaint from Mayuran of medical negligence.

He said the post mortem, to be conducted by a team of three doctors on Monday, would be video-graphed.

The hospital demanded money before started treatment, said G. Sugumaran, secretary, Federation for People’s Rights. “We want the government to intervene and take stern action against the hospital. Already, the refugees at the camp do not have access to facilities. They have to go to PIMS for treatment as there is no government hospital nearby either in Tamil Nadu or in Puducherry,” he said.

He alleged that there had been cases of negligence at the hospital in the past.

When contacted, the hospital said it had no statement to make on the incident.