Visakhapatnam

Slew of incidents tarnish city’s image, sow distrust among patients

Thousands of patients from neighbouring States are now in a state of mistrust

Reports of an organ transplantation racket at Sraddha Hospital in the city have dented the city’s image of a medical hub for thousands of patients who come here from neighbouring districts and States.

The incident has created mistrust among the patients, who now worry that they too might end up inadvertently becoming a victim of such rackets.

Thousands of patients from Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, East Godavari and from towns like Berhampur, Koraput, Jeypore, Nowrangpur, Parlakhemundi, Rayagada and other places in Odisha depend on hospitals in Visakhapatnam for treatment. A number of patients from Uddanam region in Srikakulam district, who have been suffering from mysterious kidney disorders, depend on several hospitals for dialysis. At least 40-50% of the patients in every private hospital are said to be non-locals.

Medical hub

The increasing number of patients from neighbouring areas with every passing year has transformed the coastal city city as a medical hub.

“My mother gets treated at a corporate hospital in the city twice a year. Even after the 2014 kidney racket incident, we continued to come here with the belief that all hospitals would not be the same. But coming to know about the latest incident, our trust on hospitals and doctors has gone down,” said Venkat Rao, a resident of Berhampur in Odisha.

Some patients say that visiting hospitals in Vizag for a normal check-up, especially diabetic check-up, costs a bomb, as doctors insist for additional tests and additional medicines.

G. Meena Rao, a resident of Ichchapuram Town in Srikakulam district, who gets his father treated at a private hospital, said, “We give utmost respect to doctors in Vizag. As there are no major hospitals in our region, Vizag is the only option. But after news of the kidney racket broke, we are disheartened to learn how these doctors and hospitals are fleecing the poor. We might as well reach out to hospitals in Bhubaneswar,” Mr. Meena Rao said.

“I brought my wife for a check-up at a private hospital here after she complained of chest pain. We went to a private clinic where we were asked to undergo a battery of tests. The bill came up to over ₹10,000. After all the tests were done, the doctor said she was suffering from acidity and prescribed an antacid,” said Vivek Kumar, a resident of Berhampur. “I had no problem going for the tests as we wanted to rule out all problems. But now, I’m beginning to doubt if they were needed,” he said.

Negligence

According to officials from the police department, almost one to two cases of medical negligence are being reported in Visakhapatnam district every month.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 3:03:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/slew-of-incidents-tarnish-citys-image-sow-distrust-among-patients/article27131668.ece

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