Nearly a week after the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) asked BMC’s Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital in Kandivali to pay Rs 2 lakh each to two patients bitten by rats at the hospital last year, the civic body has said that it has directed all its healthcare facilities to take adequate measures to contain the rat menace. SHRC, which had taken a suo motu cognisance of media reports about patients allegedly bitten by rats, had sought an explanation from the civic body.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “We have asked the hospitals to not allow food in wards. If allowed, the place must be cleaned and ensured that relatives of patients do not leave leftovers in the bins. We have also asked our insecticide departments to place rat traps. We have closed all the rat entry points,” added Mehta. In October last year, two incidents of rat bites were reported at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital (also called Shatabdi Hospital). On October 3, a rat bit 62-year-old paralytic patient Pramila Nerulkar’s eye at the hospital. A few days later, a 55-year-old woman, admitted in the general ward, was bitten on her toe.
Relatives of the patients had approached local BJP MLA Manisha Chaudhary. BJP corporator from R-South ward (Kandivali), Kamlesh Yadav, went to the civic general body meeting with a caged rat to protest the BMC’s failure to control rat menace. Rapping the BMC, the SHRC order stated that the civic body did admit that the media reports about the cases were true. However, BMC advocated that the hospital administration was prompt to take measures against the rat menace and also attended the patients. A senior BMC official said, “We are yet to go through the SHRC order. We will decide our next course of action and seek legal opinion. We have taken adequate steps to stop the menace and made sure that patients are not further inconvenienced.”
Meanwhile, yet another allegation of a comatose patient, Parminder Gupta (22), being bitten by a rat at Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma hospital at Jogeshwari had come to light last week. Doctors, however, have claimed that the patient wasn’t bitten by a rat. Gupta died on Thursday of brain haemorrhage, said doctors at Jogeshwari trauma hospital. His relative Nirmala Gupta, said that on April 22, a nurse mentioned that the patient may have been bitten by a rat.
Gupta died on Thursday at 2.45 pm due to multi-organ failure in a comatose condition. Doctors said he was unconscious ever since his accident, despite undergoing a craniotomy surgery in Thane’s private hospital.
However, doctors found no rat bites on Gupta. “He was in a critical condition in ICU and his medical parameters were failing… His eyes were closed and infection in such complications is possible. An ophthalmologist confirmed there were no rat bite marks,” said Superintendent Dr Harbans Singh Bawa.