The BMC commissioner on Monday approved the removal of Sewri TB hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Lalitkumar Anande, observing that the doctor was not efficient in discharging his duties as an administrator in hospital. On October 18, the decomposed body of a Covid-19 and tuberculosis-infected patient was retrieved from the hospital toilet 14 days after the patient had gone missing.
Anande, who was slated to retire in December, said he has not yet received the notice. BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal confirmed that action has been initiated after a detailed inquiry report was submitted by a civic body-appointed committee that found multiple lapses in duty of several doctors, nurses, ward boys and administrators when the patient went missing. But BMC has not clarified whether Anande will be demoted or given another post outside Sewri TB hospital. A senior civic official said a new superintendent will soon be appointed to replace Anande.
The civic body has also initiated departmental inquiry against 12 nurses, one medical officer, a clerk, and a ward boy in the case, apart from issuing warning letters to 17 contractual workers in the hospital, and four senior medical officers and administrators. The inquiry report submitted last week observed that the superintendent was negligent in his duty when the patient went missing. The inquiry committee recorded statement of close to 200 patients, nurses, staffers and doctors to assess why the body was not found in the days following Suryabhan Yadav’s disappearance and why toilets were not cleaned thrice a day.
On October 18, body of 27-year-old Yadav, who had also tested positive for Covid-19, was found in one of the three toilet cubicles of ward number 12 in a highly decomposed state. It is suspected that Yadav had walked on his own to the toilet in the wee hours of October 4 and collapsed due to breathlessness. He was reported missing on the morning of October 4. Later, a medical officer wrote in his medical documents that toilets must be checked to look for him, but the instruction was not carried out. Patients in the same ward said they had complained of stench for several days but staffers had not paid attention.
Yadav had moved from Mirzapur to Mumbai for a job in September. He was admitted in a Goregaon hospital after he fell ill. He tested positive for TB and Covid-19 and was referred to Sewri hospital on September 30. His father, a daily wager, could only be contacted after his dead body was found.
Doctors in the hospital said since it is common for TB patients to go absconding from the hospital, several assumed Yadav had also absconded. The hospital had registered a missing complaint with RAK Marg police on October 4, but even police officials refrained from entering the Covid-19 ward.
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