Ananya Padhihary

In a tragic incident, an ambulance driver at Jharsuguda breathed his last due to the alleged unavailability of an ambulance to render him urgent treatment after he was seriously injured in a brawl on Thursday night.

The death of Jatis Sahu, the ambulance driver, triggered an impromptu protest by hundreds of drivers belonging to the Odisha Drivers’ Association who blamed the Jharsuguda government hospital administration for the non-availability of ambulance and gross medical negligence that led to the tragedy.

As per reports, Sahu, who hails from Kumbhira village, was attacked by some miscreants with stones on Thursday night following a heated argument over some unknown reasons.

“Last night, a few men from the same village asked Jatis to join them for drinking to celebrate Diwali. They started a fight after sometime and attacked Jatis with stones, injuring him seriously.” said a protesting ambulance driver.

After finding Jatis in a serious condition, the villagers immediately dialed 108 for an ambulance to take him to a hospital. The villagers alleged that the ambulance was in a far off location and could not arrive on time. After waiting for about one and half hours, they finally took Jatis to the Jharsuguda government hospital in a police vehicle.

Blaming the hospital administration, the protestor further said “Doctors at the government hospital did not provide primary treatment to Jatis. Instead they referred him to the Burla Medical. But sadly, there too, no ambulance was available to shift him immediately. Although an ambulance was parked outside the hospital, the authorities said it was not operational,” they alleged.

They said the unfortunate death of Jatis occurred due to the incompetence of the medical system in availing timely treatment to the critical patient.

Meanwhile, the police have started an investigation into the incident and detained two persons in that connection.

Sources said the detenues are being questioned to find out more details about the incident.

However, the hospital authorities are yet to respond to the allegations.