Only God can save the “unidentified” and “unattended” patients in SCB Medical College and Hospital, the premier referral hospital of the State here. Because, the State Government perhaps would like to shun responsibilities of these “unfortunate” persons as was revealed from an affidavit filed in the Court by the State Health Secretary.

In response to repeated nudge from the HC pertaining to last year’s unfortunate death of an Italian tourist in the Hospital, the Health Secretary in his affidavit has not mentioned a single word about the treatment and care of such unfortunate patients who do not have any attendant or whose identity is not immediately known.

The Division Bench of Justices Indrajit Mohanti and Biswanath Mohapatra however, expressing displeasure over such “evasive” affidavit, concluded the hearing on the PIL on the day and reserved its verdict.

A social organisation alleging that the 60-year-old Italian died in the Hospital due to negligence and care by the Hospital staff had filed the PIL seeking adequate compensation to the family of the tourist. The tourist, while on a visit to Konark was taken ill suffering from certain infectious disease and was shifted to the Cuttack hospital for treatment.

Since the patient was not accompanied by any attendant and the Hospital failed to provide him a dedicated attendant, the foreigner was ill-treated in the Hospital, the petitioner had mentioned alleging that despite his poor health, he was shifted to a general ward from the ICU.

Conducting an enquiry into the death of the tourist, the Cuttack district Collector had submitted a report to the Government in January this year suggesting that the Hospital should have mechanisms in place to take care of “unidentified and unattended” patients. The Collector had also suggested that the ICU should have separate beds for infectious patients.

On these suggestions of the Collector, the High Court had asked the Health Secretary to file an affidavit stating as to what steps have been taken by the Government vis-à-vis to the Collector’s suggestion.

The Health Secretary however, in his affidavit has informed that steps would be taken to have some separate beds in the ICU for infectious patients. The affidavit also informed that a proposed trauma care of the Hospital would have a separate room for treatment of the infectious patients.