On Wednesday April 2, 2014 at approximately 10 pm, loud blasts rattled windows far across Whitefield. Turns out its Gas Cylinders had burst. There were victims. Police kicked into gear and rushed them to where protocol requires them to take burn victims – the Government’s Victoria Hospital. As is openly known, this is not necessarily the ideal place to take a victim that will battle life and death. They were 4 of them. The wife of the owner of the Gas Agency and 3 laborers, all from Rajasthan.
On Thursday evening, April 3, the victims were moved to a private hospital. A visit the following day from some members from Whitefield Rising was so traumatic that one can only imagine how much more trauma the victims were having. All four were in isolated burn wards. Bloated bodies, dressed from head to toe. So much so that even their relatives could not tell who was who. All had burns above 50% – the highest at 70%. They were not sedated but were on pain killers.
After discounts, the hospital was charging them Rs 10,000 per bed per day not including the dressings and medication. This was already 2 lakhs. And the journey had only just begun. Would they survive? If so, how good would their recovery be? Will there be enough money to last them the treatment? What must their pain be like?
We went on to St John’s hospital that is reputed to have the best burn treatment ward in the area and sought some answers. Could they take in these patients under any Government Insurance scheme for those that werent covered elsewhere? The answer was not encouraging.
Leaving deeply troubled, the thought was all could have been done to avoid this tragedy.
Are these gas cylinders being stored/transported/filled dangerously?
The owner of the agency was treating the laborers the same as his wife. This was most unusual and applaud worthy. But what would happen if he ran out of funds or if the next time, the victims weren’t lucky enough to have such benefactors.
There appear to be many well intended medical schemes for those just below or above the poverty line. But why were the big hospitals refusing them? Clearly they were not sure the money would come or if it did, it may not cover costs.
Could citizen partnership make a difference here?
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