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Cancer patient discharged because he did not have legal residency documents

Bahrain News
Tue, 13 Mar 2018
By Raji Unnikrishnan

A RESIDENT battling cancer was discharged from Bahrain’s main hospital, despite doctors calling for “close medical care”, because he did not have legal residency documents, it has emerged.

Rajanna Chandanam, who was kept at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) accident and emergency during the weekend, was discharged on Sunday.

He was also reportedly discharged because of a rush at the emergency where, according to informed sources, more than 80 patients were kept waiting due to a shortage of beds.

The 48-year-old Indian, who is suffering from third-stage bone-marrow cancer (multiple myeloma), is currently under the care of fellow Indians while waiting for an out-pass to return to India.

“The man was brought to SMC on Thursday night by social workers,” a source at SMC told the GDN.

“Surprisingly, he was documented as ‘vagabond, found on the road’.

“He is critical and needs close medical care; chances of him surviving are otherwise very low.

“He could not be admitted as he had no legal residency documents,” said the medic.

“Moreover, the emergency was crowded with almost 80 patients who were kept waiting due to a shortage of beds in the wards and this contributed to Mr Chandanam being discharged.”

The GDN reported last week that 110 patients were kept waiting at the SMC emergency as they could not be transferred to wards because of a shortage of beds.

Meanwhile, Migrant Workers Protection Society chairwoman Marietta Dias who reported the case to the Indian Embassy said she was disappointed at the way Mr Chandanam was treated.

“I was informed about him by a doctor in a private clinic who was treating him. I took him to SMC on March 5 where they gave him medicines but was not admitted as he did not have a CPR,” Ms Dias told the GDN.

“I started working on a way to send him home but the following day I learnt he was missing.

“On Thursday, we found him in a park in Manama and I reported the matter to the embassy.

“He was taken to SMC again, then how can he be recorded as a vagabond and as found on the road?

“I learn that SMC could not keep him due to his illegal status and he is now in labour accommodation.”

Ms Dias said that the embassy has agreed to issue him an out-pass.

“Apparently, he had taken an out-pass from the embassy in 2015 but did not return to India.”

The only men’s shelter in Bahrain under the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) at its Expat Protection Centre located in Sehla does not accept medical cases.

“The LMRA shelter is for people who are illegal and fighting a legal case,” said a source at the embassy.

“Mr Chandanam needs medical care and unfortunately the shelter doesn’t take in such cases.

“We cannot force SMC to admit him, as he has no CPR.

“As per records the man is illegal since 2009 and had taken an out-pass earlier.”

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