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Hospital denies delaying treatment of fatal accident victim

Hospital staff were accused of refusing to put the patient on a ventilator as advised by the doctor because they “wanted to make the necessary memo slips first.”



The state-run Hulhumalé hospital has denied delaying treatment for a 24-year-old accident victim who died Saturday night.

The hospital became the target of public outrage after a man who was at the emergency room alleged in a viral Facebook post that staff had refused to put the patient on a ventilator as advised by the doctor.

Hospital staff “wanted to make the necessary memo slips first” but there was no identification on the victim, who was walking home when he was hit by a speeding motorbike.

Nurses kept using a manual resuscitator for about an hour while his photo was posted on Facebook in the hopes of reaching a family member, the witness recounted.

When family arrived after 11 pm, they transferred him to Tree Top hospital but he passed away while undergoing treatment for severe head injuries.

The victim has been identified as Mohamed Sobah, an architecture student at the Maldives National University.

After the Facebook post was widely shared and picked up by the media, the Aasandha company that manages the Hulhumalé hospital told the press that the allegations were untrue.

Despite lack of identification, arrangements were made to transfer him to ADK hospital in Malé because ventilator service is not yet available at the Hulhumalé hospital, the company said.

A sea ambulance was also readied but the family wanted to transfer him to Tree Top, it added.

“Delaying treatment in such emergency cases due to lack of ID card or inability to make a memo is a not a rule followed by Hulhumalé hospital or any health service centre in the Maldives,” Aasandha said in a press statement Sunday night.

The hospital appealed against “spreading falsehoods in social media in a manner that incites anger and anxiety” out of respect for the grieving family.

Saturday night’s fatal accident renewed concern over road safety with the authorities coming under fire over a recent one-day driving application scheme.

On Sunday, police launched a special operation in the capital’s suburb to check vehicles and take action against speeding.

Since the beginning of Ramadan in mid-May, some 13 accidents have occurred in Hulhumalé, a reclaimed island under development as an urban centre.

A 32-year-old who was injured in a motorbike accident in Hulhumalé last month remains in a coma.

More than 70,000 people now reside in the ‘Youth City,’ where motorbike racing has become an increasingly popular pastime.

According to Sun Online, the motorbike that crashed into Sobah was driven by an 18-year-old without a driving license.