Italian tourist death case: NHRC seeks report
Taking serious note of the Italian tourist who died due to medical negligence in SCB Medical College in Odisha, the National Human Rights Commission has sought a action taken report from the state Health Department.
A 63-year-old Italian tourist, Sebastian Rosario Contiguglia, who was undergoing treatment for encephalitis at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, died on 14.12.12 under controversial circumstances. He was admitted to the SCB on November 26. He was shifted from the ICU to the pulmonary ward while his condition was still critical on December 11. But again on same day he was shifted to TB ward. Hospital authorities were well aware that he was a destitute patient, still no attendant was provided to him. Even if some volunteers are interested to work as attendant for him. But they are not allowed. Also Read : State government imposes ban on manufacture, sale of gutka in Odisha In the absence of an attendant, the tourist had fallen off his bed twice on December 11, following which his condition deteriorated further, leading to his death. Human Rights Activist and Managing trustee of Odisha-based rights body India Media Centre, Mr. Akhand, had filled a petition before NHRC alleging Human Rights violation by the medical authorities. He prayed before the commission for action against guilty medical officials and Rs. 20 lakh as compensation to the next kin of the victim. Hearing the matter NHRC ordered he Health Secretary to submit an action taken report within four weeks. It is also alleged that on December 11, Odisha Chief Minister visited the same ICU of the Hospital to see his ally party legislator Kalandi Behera. Before half an hour of his visit the Italian tourist was shifted to TB ward, reported The Times of India. When Mr Behera was sent to AIIMS on December 12, again the Italian patient was shifted from TB ward to the ICU. In this gap of 48 hours without ICU, the patient’s condition became critical and his condition deteriorated eventually and he died in the wee hours of December 14.