Cong leader’s Facebook post created false impression of denial of ambulance
Anantnag: Following a social media post by a Congress leader in Anantnag on “denial of ambulance service to a patient”, many netizens have been baying for the blood of health authorities without pausing to look at the discharge certificate of the patient, which was also uploaded in the same post.
It is not mandatory for hospitals to provide ambulances to patients who are discharged after treatment.
At about midnight on Tuesday, Congress leader and Chairman of the Anantnag Municipal Council, Hilal Ahmad Shah, took to the social networking site Facebook and posted three pictures, one of a load carrier, another of an ambulance, and the third of a discharge certificate of a patient named Sahil Gulzar, son of Gulzar Ahmad, resident of Kulgam district.
“Yesterday DC Anantnag and me were monitoring the snow clearance work. At Dak Bungalow, the DC found a load carrier, carrying a patient. Upon inquiry it was reported that the Government Medical College Anantnag had denied ambulance to the patient,” Shah wrote in the Facebook post.
He further wrote that the DC Anantnag called the hospital and an ambulance was sent to the Dak Bungalow. “Shame on Medical College authorities,” Shah concluded his post with these words.
The post, as expected, went viral and people on social media started demanded removal of the GMC Principal for his incompetence.
However, a closer look at Shah’s post reveals that the patient had been discharged from the hospital after a successful surgery on January 6 and after 5 days of post-operative care.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Medical Superintendent (MS) of the GMC hospital, Dr Iqbal Sofi, who said that ambulances were for critical patients and not for patients being discharged.
“It is not the protocol to provide a patient who is being discharged with an ambulance. If we start doing so, we will have to arrange 50 to 60 ambulances every day. What will happen to the critical patients then?” the MS asked.
He said that the ambulances were meant for bringing critical patients to hospitals or shifting them to another hospital. “We cannot provide an ambulance to every person who is being discharged,” he said.
Having said that, the MS said that the hospital could have provided the said person an ambulance on humanitarian grounds had he approached the hospital administration for the same.
“But they left the hospital like every other patient, without seeking any further help,” the MS said.
Kashmir Reader tried getting Shah’s version of why he made claims of hospital callousness in his social media post, but he did not attend to calls made by this reporter.
“We were monitoring snow clearance when I saw some people in a load carrier, one of them laying on his back. I inquired about the matter and ensured that an ambulance was provided to them,” Deputy Commissioner Anantnag KK Sidha told Kashmir Reader.
He acknowledged that the patient had been discharged from the hospital.