A case was registered Thursday against a Government Medical College and two private hospitals here for allegedly denying admission to a 62-year-old man who died after being turned away by the hospitals, police said.
The case was lodged on the basis of the complaint by the relatives of the patient, identified as Jacob Thomas of Kerala's Idukki district, they said.
The hospitals were charged under Indian Penal Code Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
Kottayam DSP R Sreekumar is probing the case, police said here.
The post-mortem was conducted at the Medical College Hospital Thursday.
Relatives of the deceased had alleged that Thomas died Wednesday, hours after being "denied" admission to the Government Medical College hospital, where he was rushed to in a serious condition from neighbouring Idukki.
He was also turned away by two private hospitals where he was taken to after leaving the Government Medical College hospital.
Taking serious note of the incident, the state government has directed the Medical Education Director to conduct an inquiry and submit a report.
Various political parties and their youth outfits Thursday organised protest marches towards the hospitals in protest against the alleged medical negligence on their part.
A group of people allegedly smashed the flower pots and damaged the front office of a private hospital Thursday morning.
Health Minister K K Shailaja Thursday assured stringent action if negligence on the part of the doctors and other staff of the hospitals was proved in the probe.
Relatives of Thomas reiterated their allegations that he was refused admission at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital (KMCH), where he was brought in an ambulance at 2.10 pm Wednesday. They claimed that he died about a couple hours later after two private hospitals also denied him treatment.
KMCH Resident Medical Officer Dr Ranjan has said Thomas was taken to the private hospitals by his relatives after they were informed that all ventilators in the medical college hospital were in use.
The incident comes at a time when the Nipah virus has resurfaced in the state after a year, with a 23-year-old student being confirmed to be infected with it and over 300 people from various districts with whom he had interacted put under observation.
According to the relatives, Thomas was admitted to a hospital in Kattappana in Idukki two days ago following fever and breathing problems.
The Kattappana Hospital referred him to the KMCH in Kottayam after his condition turned critical.
The KMCH authorities claimed when Thomas was brought again at 4 pm, he was found dead.
The relatives alleged that the doctors at the KMCH even refused to confirm his death.