No bed in Delhi military hospital, retd Brig dies while being taken by son to Chandigarh

Brigadier Rashpal Singh Parmar (retd), of the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), was a resident of Paschim Vihar in New Delhi.

A retired Brigadier died on the way from Delhi to Chandigarh last night due to Covid complications after he could not be admitted in any hospital, including Army’s Base Hospital and DRDO’s hospital set up there recently.

Brigadier Rashpal Singh Parmar (retd), of the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), was a resident of Paschim Vihar in New Delhi. He was being transported to Chandigarh by his son in the hope of getting a hospital bed here after they were unable to secure an admission in private hospitals or the Army’s Base Hospital.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lt Col S S Sohi (retd), President of Ex-Servicemen Grievances Cell, Mohali, and a course senior to Brig Parmar, said that he was turned away from all hospitals saying no beds were available.

“After being denied admission in Base Hospital, his son took him to DRDO Hospital near the airport but he could not secure admission even there despite showing all documents. Private hospitals too didn’t help,” said Lt Col Sohi.

It is learnt that the Brigadier’s family members arranged an oxygen cylinder for him and drove him to Chandigarh for getting him admitted to a private hospital. However, before he could reach and be given any treatment, he died.

“This is shocking that veterans are not able to get treatment and are left running from here to there for getting a bed. Military Hospitals must cater for them in this emergency situation. Service hospitals are being opened up for civilians, and we have no objection to anyone being treated, but at least veterans should not be left in lurch,” said Lt Col Sohi.

Brig Parmar was commissioned on March 14, 1971 in the Corps of EME. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

A senior officer at Army HQs in Delhi said that the defence services have stepped up resources in areas where Covid patients are arriving in increasing numbers. He added that the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has personally directed that the services must go out of the way to support the nation in managing the surge in cases.

“Even veterans who are members of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and are required to be managed by nominated civilian hospitals are being entertained at Military Hospitals to the extent possible. At this time, the medical personnel who are burdened, yet are performing their duties with utmost sincerity need to be encouraged,” the officer said.

The officer added that contrary to the general perception, no civilian is presently admitted in Base Hospital and that all the beds are occupied by serving personnel, veterans and their dependents. He said the medical resources are being augmented and every effort will be made to look after veterans.

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