Pradeep Pattanayak

After two days of non-stop media coverage on plight of hundreds of cancer patients lying in open in front of Acharya Harihar Institute of Cancer in Cuttack, the authorities on Saturday pulled up its socks to shift the aggrieved patients to the hospital. 

While OTV had been covering how cancer patients and their relatives were spending their miserable time under the scorching heat of the cruel sun for last two days, a delegation of local BJP members on Saturday visited the hospital and met its director. The BJP team urged the officer to take immediate steps to redress the sufferings of the patients. 

“Today we met the director of the hospital and discussed with him about the sufferings of the patients and their attendants. He promised us to accommodate the patients in the new building within a month,” said Cuttack Nagar BJP President, Laltendu Badu. 

Director of the hospital, Lalatendu Sarangi, while briefing about the situation of the patients, said a temporary shed would be constructed by the coming Tuesday and the patients lying in open would be shifted there. 

“In this regard, we had a meeting with the Chief Secretary on Friday. I have instructed the officials to construct a shed and relocate the patients,” said director of Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer, adding that efforts are on to add two hundred more beds to the existing ones. 

Our team on Saturday visited the hospital only to find there had been none in the shed of the tree in front of the hospital. However, some were seen under a tree, not far away from the first one. 

“We have been staying in such a condition since last one month. The security guards have been less sympathetic. They have been driving us away even from here,” said an attendant. 

Echoing the same, another attendant said there was none to take care of them. 

In this context, Health Minister Naba Das for the first time broke his silence. 

“I came to know about the situation only yesterday. I have already instructed my department to take immediate steps to redress the sufferings of the patients and attendants,” said Das.