A 55-year-old BMC employee lost four fingers of his leg after he was denied treatment by two civic hospitals, his family alleged.
Deepak Nikalje had injured his leg while on duty. On Tuesday, a part of his leg had to be amputated. Besides, his family is now facing a financial crisis as the BMC has declined to honour his medical insurance.
Nikalje lives in BDD Chawl, Worli, along with his wife and is a garbage van cleaner in the Solid Waste Management department. He is posted at G-North (Dadar, Shivaji Park) ward. His daughter Namita Pawar alleged his father’s leg could have been saved by timely treatment. Now, he is admitted in Criticare Hospital in Kamothe, Panvel. He is diabetic, has undergone heart surgery and faced paralytic attack in the past.
Nikalje’s family said he injured his leg on April 10. Next day, he went to work but stopped from April 12 after he observed swelling in his leg. His family took him to a local doctor but his condition started deteriorating. On April 14, he was taken to KEM hospital in Parel but his family alleged he was denied admission as the hospital said it did not have beds. “My mother and sister kept requesting the staff to admit him but they did some basic dressing and asked us to leave. My mother asked where will we go as we can’t afford treatment cost at a private hospital. The staff warned us that if we don’t leave they will call police,” Pawar alleged. A BMC official said, “All private and public hospital burden is being directed to KEM so hospital’s bed are already full. So we are able to admit only patients with serious illness.”
The family then went to Nair hospital but alleged that it too turned them away. “We were told to find some other hospital as they were only admitting COVID-19 patients. We then went to Bombay Hospital where the OPD was shut,” Pawar said.
“I’m not aware of this incident. At present our doctors and staff are doing their best to give treatment,” said Mohan Joshi, dean, Nair hospital. Nikalje’s daughter called several other hospitals on their landline but either they were shut due to coronavirus cases or they were not ready to accept non-COVID cases. On April 16, he was admitted to Criticare hospital. However, the family soon started facing financial crunch. “When we contacted BMC for mediclaim, they rejected it. What is our fault if BMC hospitals denied treatment,” Pawar said.
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