No refuge from cold for patients’ kin
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No space in hospitals, attendants wait in bone-chilling conditions
Even as the cold wave continues to sweep the city, forcing residents to stay indoors, many attendants of the patients at the government hospitals are less fortunate and are forced to face the cold sitting outside without a roof on their head.
Due to the overcrowded waiting halls and the sarais spilling over with the relatives of those admitted, many others have to brave the chill sitting outside the emergency wing of the PGIMER and yet many line outside the recently opened Advanced Trauma Centre at the institute.
Consequently, most of these attendants, including the elderly and children, who are exposed to the bone-chilling cold, are at a high risk of developing hypothermia and pulmonary problems. Most have come from far-off places and do not have enough funds to support the treatment and the medication of their patients and renting an accommodation is obviously the least of their concerns.
35-year-old Rajesh, who hails from Bihar, has been camping outside the emergency with his mother from the past month as his father, Ram Kumar, is currently undergoing treatment for TYB. Though the doctors have told him to come after a month, the family doesn't have enough money to go back to their native place and then come again for check-up after a month.
The condition of Fatimam, a 50-year-old woman from Muzaffarpur, who, along with her husband, is staying outside the emergency wing as her son is undergoing treatment for a blood disorder at the PGI, is similar. "We have not even the means to support the treatment of our son, let alone renting a room. We are grateful that at least we get two square meals a day outside the gate as we do not even have money for food," she said.