In a bizarre incident, a poor woman had to drag her ailing septuagenarian husband to an x-ray room in a state-run hospital in Karnataka’s Shivamogga city after the staff denied her a stretcher after her refusal to pay bribe. The horrifying incident of May 31 came to light after Kannada news channels telecast a video footage on Friday.

“We have suspended nurses Asha, Chaithra, and Jyothi, and attender Suvaranamma for not providing the stretcher to the patient,” said McGann Hospital Medical Superintendent TB Satyanarayana, reported IANS.

In the footage, Fameeda can be seen dragging 75-year-old Amir across the hospital’s corridor to the x-ray room from the General Ward.

“I had to drag him from the general ward as I could not afford to give Rs 50 bribe to the hospital staff,” 65-year-old Fameeda said.

Amir was admitted to the hospital nine days ago for treatment of bronchitis. “As I had no faith in the hospital’s doctors, I wanted to take my husband back home. No doctor bothered to take care of him,” rued Fameeda.

Dubbing the incident shameful and unacceptable, Karnataka Health Minister KR Ramesh Kumar ordered an inquiry into Fammeda’s bribe charge.

“The hospital is not under my control. As it is under Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, I will tell him to take stringent action against the erring staff,” said Kumar.

Many patients admitted at the hospital narrated similar woes. “My nephew was admitted in the hospital last month. Its staff refused to give him a spitoon while he was vomiting,” said homemaker M Mamatha.

–With IANS inputs