"Mob trashes private Indian hospital - Tue, Apr 13, 2010 AFP
KOLKATA, India - A mob ransacked a private hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Tuesday after it refused to admit a critically injured child who later died, local ministers said.
A crowd of angry locals went on the rampage in Peerless Hospital, breaking furniture, windows and computers, setting fire to the restaurant and damaging operating theatres, state sports minister Kanti Ganguly told AFP.
In the morning a vehicle with about 40 pilgrims on board collided head-on with a speeding truck 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Kolkata city centre, killing four people outright and injuring nine others."
Another tale of 'injustice' in our capitalistic society in India? Similar tales were told in PRC in the past of hospitals refusing admission to patients due to money issue too.
Lessons for me are:
1. if there is no room for exception to critical injured patients to be admitted and taken care of by the hospitals, should there be an outcry really? This is a private for-profit hospital presumably. Why should it open its doors to this critically injured child some pure capitalists may say. What happened if this is allowed and it sets the precedence for future cases resulting in the hospital taking on massive number of patients that probably has no financial means to pay the hospitals, the pessimists and alarmists will say. The question really is: can the hospital take it that critical injured child at that moment in time? if it can but won't due to money issue, it has failed in its duty as an institution to treat patients and save life!;
2. while it may happen in India or in China or some other less developed countries, we have also learned of such cases in Japan where hospitals also turned away critically injured folks that resulted in deaths. Maybe the capitalistic system need to be tweaked a bit and inject into it a sense of humanity and a bias towards 'biting the money bullet' and take care of patients in critical needs due to an emergency;
3. the mob that went on a rampage in India is merely expressing their sense of 'loss' and 'hatred if you like' for the 'rich' who does not care about the life and death of the poor. It is just an outlet for some sense of injustice and inequity simmering underneath the surface for a while now. To make a good situation out of the tragedy, someone in public service can take the initiative to work with the private sector to establish an 'exception rule' where the state perhaps can foot the bill for the critically injured in an emergency if there is no insurance or no adequate financial resources by the patients. It can track the number of activation over a 3-mth, 6-mth, 9-mth and 12-mth period to assess it has been abused. Chances are if people are honest, they won't get into an emergency just to enjoy this 'privilege'!!
May Singapore never have to report such a case!