THE PCMC-run Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH), which has been in news lately for the wrong reasons, has drawn fierce criticism again after it took a lenient stand on one of its ‘negligent’ doctors, who performed a surgery on the left leg of a senior citizen instead of the right one. The hospital, initiating action, has stopped the doctor’s one annual increment.
“One annual increment of the doctor has been stopped as he has been found guilty of wrong doing,” said YCMH superintendent Manoj Deshmukh on Sunday. When the issue was raised with Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav, he said,”He has been punished as per the norms. The doctor has accepted his mistake. He told us that he had to perform two-three surgeries one after the other on that day. He was rushed into one of the operation theatres after a senior failed to show up,” said Jadhav. The doctor in this case is Saurav Kale who is the son of a retired municipal secretary. The incident happened one-and-a-half years ago and the departmental inquiry too has been delayed. While questions were raised on the civic officials going soft on the matter owing to his “connections”, the civic officials clearly denied it. This incident is one of the many that has put the hospital in poor light. Ironically, YCMH is the only hospital offering treatments at a low cost in Pimpri-Chinchwad area. For poor and to some extent, even the middle class, this is the hospital that they can afford.
On Sunday, when this reporter visited the hospital to check the ground situation, some poor farmers and labourers were found to be waiting for medical treatment at the casaulty ward of the hospital. There were eight patients, who had come from as far as Dhonde village, near Rajgurunagar to the hospital, who required immediate medical attention and were found to be waiting. While three of them got chairs to sit, four with bandages on leg and hands were sitting on the floor due to lack of seating facility or beds.
When YCMH superintendent was contacted, he said there was a problem regarding the essential facilities at the hospital. “We have been waiting for 500 mattresses and cushions for so long. The stores department is caught in tender issues,” he said. The hospital staff has said several mattresses and cushions are torn and are in no condition to be provided to patients. When The Indian Express took up the matter with PCMC chief again, he said,”I don’t know why the hospital administration kept quiet all this while. These are basic requirements and should have been fulfilled on priority basis,” he said.
Last month, a 36-year-old woman patient died of cardiac arrest at the hospital. Her family alleged that the nursing staff did not react to the situation when the patient complained of chest pain. “It took 10 minutes to move the patient to the ICU where the patient died in no time,” said Sunil Marale, the patient’s husband, adding, “The doctors did not even seek the expertise of heart specialists from the cardiac unit.” Reacting to the same, Dr Deshmukh said in such cases, every minute is important.
Another family alleged that a doctor did not put stitches correctly to their 10-year-old son, and the injury took more than a month to heal. “Doctors do not even know how to put stitches. Most of them, especially juniors, seem to be under-trained while seniors seem to be in a hurry,” said activist Maruti Bhapkar.
The hospital has been facing crisis after several doctors either left post retirement or quit the job. Even some administrators like Dr Anand Jagdale and Dr Rajshekhar Iyer took retirement. “When Dr Jagdale and Dr Iyer were handling YCMH, they were very strict with the staff. The current administration should act tough. Moreover, basic training must be given to junior doctors and nurses to reduce mortalities,” he said. Reacting to the patients’ concerns, PCMC chief said, from next week he will ensure “drastic improvement” in YCMH’s functioning.