Bengal woman dies at railway station after hospital fails to provide ambulance

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A woman died at a railway station in West Bengal’s Purba Bardhaman district after a hospital failed to provide her with an ambulance while referring her to a larger medical facility, police said.

The incident took place at Bhatar railway station where 50-year-old Maneka Koda and her husband Asit were waiting to take a train to Bardhaman, where she was referred to for treatment.

“Maneka Koda suffered from heat stroke while working with her husband in the field as daily wage labourers in Kachigoria village. Her husband brought her to Bhatar hospital, where she was administered with two bottles of saline and referred to Bardhaman Medical College and Hospital,” a police officer said.

“However, the hospital authorities did not provide her with an ambulance and asked her husband to take her to Bardhaman in a private vehicle, for which they did not have money. Left with no other option, Asit Koda decided to take her to Bardhaman by train and took her to the railway station on an e-rickshaw. She died under a tree while waiting for the train on Thursday,” he said.

The incident sparked outrage among locals, who accused the hospital authorities of negligence and apathy.

The hospital authorities, however, claimed that their ambulance had broken down and was being repaired.

The Health department has initiated an investigation into the incident.

The incident was reminiscent of a similar tragedy which took place in Jalpaiguri in January this year.

A man was in the Jalpaiguri case forced to carry the body of his mother for kilometres after an ambulance demanded ₹3,000 for transporting her mortal remains.

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