Inconsolable relatives of patients who died in the fire that broke out early on Thursday at Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad complained of apathy saying the hospital “did not even bother to call or inform” them about the incident.
According to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), the fire broke out around 3.30 am but many of the relatives said they were informed about the same by the hospital well after 7 am, while some of them received no information.
“They make calls multiple times asking for money. Couldn’t they inform us when people died,” said friends and relatives of deceased Jyotiben Sindhi (55) and Arif Mansuri (42).
Calling for justice, Shiraj Mansuri, younger brother of another victim, Arif Mansuri (42), a resident of Vejalpur, told The Indian Express, “We have lost our family member. The government should bring out the real reason behind this incident.” Arif was admitted on July 27 and was on BiPAP since then.
Accusing the hospital of “hiding details”, Shiraj said, “They would communicate every two-three hours while my brother was admitted here, then why not now. The incident happened around 3 am and we received a call after 7 am informing about a fire and nothing else.” Arif is survived by wife and two sons, aged 18 and 14 years.
Nearly 15 family members of Navnit R Shah Narendra N Shah — father-son duo who died in the incident — were outside the hospital and postmortem room at Civil Hospital, Asarwa. “Now they have asked us to reach civil hospital where the bodies have been taken,” Arvind Shah, brother-in-law of Navnit Shah, said. The postmortem of the eight deceased was completed by 2.40 pm.
“In addition to Rs 5.5 lakh paid to the hospital in three instalments, excluding the Tocilizumab and Remdevisir injections, the hospital management had asked for a High Flow Nasal Canula (HFNC) machine worth Rs 3.9 lakh. They told us to manage the machine on our own as they do not have it. We had given it to the hospital on Wednesday,” he added.
Narendra, who was running a cloth business in Ahmedabad, was admitted to hospital two weeks ago, while his father was admitted 10 days ago. Narendra has three brothers and his only son is settled in Australia.
Struggling to hold back tears, Vishnubhai Sindhi, husband of Jyotiben (55) from Kheralu in Mehsana district, one of the three women who died in the tragedy, said that his wife was to be transferred to the general ward today (Thursday). She was admitted to the hospital on August 1.
“Her condition had improved so the hospital told us that she would be shifted to the general ward today. But we lost her…what shall we do now…,” he said.
Similar complaints were echoed by Jignesh Sheth, son-in-law of Lilavati C Shah (72), another woman among the eight deceased. “I received a call around 7 am from my relatives who asked me to check with the hospital after seeing the news on the television. When we rushed here, there was no information from the hospital but police told us that the bodies were taken to the Civil Hospital,” Jignesh said.
Lilavati’s husband Chandrakant Shah (75) was also admitted at the hospital but was discharged on Tuesday.
Among the deceased, was Ayesha Tirmizi (51), wife of Gujarat High Court advocate Suhel Tirmizi, who faced a similar experience of lapse. Suhel was not informed by the hospital authorities and was informed by an acquaintance around 6 am.
Ayesha, 51, had recovered from Covid-19 last week but could not be discharged due to other health complications. On Thursday, hours after the fire tragedy, Suhel was informed that Ayesha was among the eight patients who died in the fire incident.
She was expected to be shifted to a special room by Thursday as her condition was stable. Survived by her husband and a 27-year old-son, she was laid to rest at the Baba Dhokal Kabrastan in the Dudheshwar area.
Suhel has been active in the High Court, representing 2002 Gujarat riot victims. He has also been representing Gulberg massacre victims, Saira Sandhi and Rupa Mody, to oppose the appeals filed by the accused convicts.
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