Amid a cash crunch in the city, after the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, a youth lost his life in a Kolkata hospital on Friday as a medical store refused to accept the scrapped notes for the critically needed medical tape.
Siba Das (16) was admitted to the emergency department of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital here with high fever on Thursday morning.
A local medical store allegedly refused to sell 'duct tape' for the patient as his family members had only Rs 500 currency notes.
"I wanted to buy for the patient a duct tape, which costs Rs 180. But the store refused to accept the Rs 500 note in spite of the patient's critical condition," complained Sambhu Das, a relative of the teenager.
Though the government has demonetised the high denomination bills of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, it has asked the public sector hospitals and medical facilities to accept the old bills for helping the patients.
The owner of the medical store, however, denied the allegation and said they asked the patient's family to take away the medicines on loan as they did not have change of Rs 500 at that point.
"We did not have change for Rs 500. So we asked the patient party to take the necessary apparatus on loan. But they did not agree," Tushar Kanti Ghosh, owner of Kamala Medical Store, said.
The family members of the teenager staged a protest in front of the emergency ward of RG Kar hospital on Thursday evening.
"We would lodge a police complaint against the store," a family member said.