Rubbing salt into wounds of the man whose left leg was severed during a botched-up surgery at its YCM hospital, the NCP-led Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has gone back on its promise to pay Rs 3 lakh as financial assistance to him, saying “it did not fall within its laid down norms.”
The PCMC had earlier promised to pay Rs 3 lakh to Balasaheb Dhendge, a resident of Shirur whose leg had to be severed after a botched-up surgery at the PCMC-run hospital.
“We will not be in a position to pay him Rs 3 lakh as promised as it does not fall within our norms,” Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav told The Indian Express on Saturday.
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Echoing the view, Atul Shitole, chairman of civic standing committee, said, “The man is from Shirur and not from our jurisdiction. Also, paying him would mean setting a wrong precedent.”
Earlier this month, as reported by Pune Newsline on January 14, the PCMC had promised to pay Rs 3 lakh financial assistance to Dhendge family after its own doctor erred in carrying out the operation. The PCMC had even promised to waive off the medical bill of the patient. This was done only after the patient’s family filed an FIR and various political and social organisations held demonstrations. While the PCMC has waived off the bill, it has now refused to help the marginal farmer’s family.
However, both Jadhav and Shitole said they would find out ways to help the man. “I will talk to standing committee chairman and find out a way to help the man,” said Jadhav.
Similarly, Shitole said,”I will see what can be done to help them man. I will talk to the civic administration and other members of the standing committee to do what we can to help the man,” he said.
To the PCMC’s contention that the patient does not live in its jurisdiction and hence helping him financially does not fall within the norms, the hapless patient says, “Does severing my limb and rendering me handicapped for life falls within PCMC’s norms?”
Dhendge said he had to spend five months in the PCMC-run hospital as its medical team played with his life. “I have two small kids. My wife does not work… the income from my small farm has been steadily falling. Now, I can’t even work anywhere. Who will give the job to a disabled person like me?” he asks, with choked voice. “They should at least have a heart for my kids and help me out…”
After spending five months in the hospital, Dhendge was discharged on January 24.
Seema Pawar, sister of the patient, said, “One of the NCP leaders is also trying to pressure us to withdraw the FIR we had filed. The leader told us that the PCMC would not pay us anything.” She said they had actually sought Rs 25 lakh in compensation from the PCMC.
When contacted, Shirur MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil said he was shocked at the insensitivity shown by the civic administration. “How can they say the man is not in PCMC’s jurisdiction. Shirur is my constituency and a major part of Pimpri-Chinchwad falls in constituency. Besides, how can doctors get away by severing the leg of a poor and hapless patient ? I will meet the civic commissioner and question them about their attitude towards the poor man,” he said.
MLA Laxman Jagtap said the PCMC would have to pay as its own doctors had erred. “I will take up the matter with the civic administration,” he said.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, whose party NCP rules the PCMC, was not available for comment. His secretary said, “Pawar will look into it.”
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 in his leg which had turned “black and blue.”
When Dhengde tried to find out the reasons from the doctors, they remained evasive. By the time a senior surgeon was handed over the case, it was too late. Dhendge’s family was told that his leg had to be amputated. The doctor had disappeared from the hospital after the botched-up surgery.