ESI faces allegations of negligence after death of a patient suffering from rare disease

A labourer's family from Ramdarbar has complained of negligence by authorities of ESI Medical Hospital, who as per the complainant, delayed treatment allegedly worsening the condition of Kamlesh Devi who died on Tuesday.

Kamlesh Devi (35) was suffering from a rare disease called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH) in which the number of red blood cells and haemoglobin levels keep falling.

Her husband Prem Chand is a labourer and a member of the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESCI). Despite being a regular member, he said he had to fight with ESI authorities to get proper treatment, available at select medical institutes only, for his wife.

"After several requests, ESI medical hospital referred my wife to Fortis Hospital, Mohali, for closure of the external ileostomy pouch. The operation was successful and she was discharged on December 13. After six days, doctors at Fortis recommended some blood tests and CT scan as my wife had high fever," said Prem Chand.

"It was 10 am and I rushed to ESI authorities for written approval of tests that would cost Rs 17,000. Despite my wife's critical condition, they made us wait till 7 pm. ESI doctors then referred us to two different hospitals and not Fortis, where the treatment was underway.

At 9 pm, I got the CT scan reports that showed excessive internal bleeding in the brain," he added.

According to Chand, "The Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital never co-operated with us and delayed treatment every time. It was only due to media intervention that he referred our case earlier and now," said Prem Chand.

However, Dr N K Taneja, MS at ESI hospital waved off the allegations.

He said, "The family is making false allegations. ESI hospital has treated the case of patient Kamlesh Devi on a priority basis. As the patient was suffering from a rare and complicated disease, she was shifted to Fortis hospital for treatment."

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