Gouribala Das, an elderly lady in urgent need of blood transfusion, lay on the floor in the Emergency OPD section at the Medical College and Hospital here, her daughter holding a saline bottle in one hand.
Das, in her 70s, was among the 250-odd patients, who were hurriedly shifted out of their wards after a fire broke out at the 183-year-old state-run medical facility on Wednesday morning.
She was brought in a stretcher from the main building that housed the pharmacy, where the blaze erupted around 8 am.
“My mother requires urgent treatment and we are looking for a doctor,” her daughter said with a baffled expression.
Similar was the plight of Akhtar Hussein, 75, a brain-stroke patient, who wore a blank look on his face, even as commotion prevailed around him.
Hussein was taken out by his son with the help of a hospital staff from the third floor of that building and directed to the Emergency OPD section.
“He is in a severe state of trauma. None of the doctors have visited him ever since he was shifted to this place. But the nurses are attending. We hope he can be shifted to a proper place by this evening,” his daughter-in-law said.
One of the attending doctors said 250 patients from five departments, including medicine and cardiology and one from ICU, were accommodated in the Emergency OPD section in a “record 30-minute time”.
Family members of 58-year-old Debendra Chakraborty, who was admitted with dengue on Monday, said the hospital authorities could not specify when his treatment would start.
However, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Chandrima Bhattacharya said, “None has been asked to leave the hospital. All the 250 patients had been shifted smoothly after the fire broke out, and are now being attended to.”
The Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, commonly referred to as Calcutta Medical College, is the second oldest medical college in India after Ecole de Medecine of Puducherry.