In yet another incident highlighting how the PCMC-run Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital is going from bad to worse, and how life and limbs of poor patients are under threat, a 30-year-old man from Shrirur lost his leg after a botched-up surgery. The family of Balasaheb Dhendge filed a police complaint on Tuesday against the doctor who performed the surgery.
Dhendge was admitted to YCM Hospital on September 16 as he was finding it difficult to walk due to a vericose vein problem. The operation was performed a week later, after which it led to complications. “There was swelling and my leg had turned black and blue. It was paining badly,” said Dhendge, a marginal farmer and a father of three school-going girls.
Dhengde’s sister Seema Pawar said that when they tried to find out the reasons from the doctors, they remained evasive. “It was clear that they had botched up the surgery. But the hospital was not able to take any immediate corrective steps,” she said.
Pawar said that when senior surgeon Sanjay Padale was handed over the case, it was too late. “We were told that my brother’s leg would have to be amputed and there was no other option. If it wouldn’t be severed, it would affect other organs and that could proved fatal,” she said.
Dhendge was finally operated upon during which his right leg was severed. When contacted, Padale said, “Dhendge’s case had become complicated and that’s why he had to amputate the leg. However, the doctors who earlier operated upon Dhendge should not be held entirely responsbile as they had tried their best to treat him.”
Dhendge said that in 2009, he was operated upon by then senior surgeon Mangesh Panse for the same vericose veins problems. “But I had recovered fully after that. My leg was perfectly fine. Why didn’t they requisition the services of Dr Panse?,” asked a teary-eyed Dhendge.
“I have three small kids and a small farm that is hardly enough to sustain my family. Besides, the hospital had been asking me to buy medicines on my own. They are responsible for me losing my leg, but they asked me to buy a walker,” Dhengde added.
When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Rajeev Jadhav said that there seemed to have been negligence prima facie, but they are investigating the case. He, however, said that the PCMC standing committee has sanctioned Rs 3 lakh as immediately financial assistance to the Dhenge family.
“Besides, we will waive off all his bills and ensure that he is discharged only when he is fully fit,” Jadhav said, adding that he has been trying to improve the functioning of YCM Hospital, but unfortunately has not been able to do so due to paucity of doctors.
“We are not getting skilled doctors. Besides, we are even facing shortage of resident doctors,” Jadhav said. YCM Hospital sources said that the hospital is facing shortage of at least 100 doctors. In the past couple of months, YCM Hospital has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
One doctor lost his annual increment after he was found guilty of performing a surgery on the wrong leg. Another doctor had forgotten pieces of threads in the lower abdomen of a woman post delivery. A doctor was found to have little knowledge of how to put stitches. Another fought shy of removing the stitches.
Activist Domnic Lobo said after the exit of Nagkumar Kunach-gi, Rajshekhar Iyer and Anand Jagdale, the hospital has been found wanting in terms of good doctors. “There is a desperate need to improve the management. There is a need to keep a tab on what doctors are doing. There is a need to minutely monitor every aspect of the hospital. Jadhav is busy with other civic issues. I don’t think there is hope for poor patients in YCM hospital,” Lobo said.
The civic chief said that he is aware of the problems and is making efforts to improve its functioning. “Give me some time, I will drastically improve the functioning of the hospital,” Jadhav said.