A helper’s despicable behaviour was allegedly allowed to remain unchecked for months, leading to a 30-year-old doctor being molested while undergoing a CT scan at Nanavati Hospital on Wednesday.
Only a male attendant was present in the scanning room when the woman went to the Vile Parle hospital for a brain scan. The attendant allegedly asked her husband to wait outside and touched the doctor inappropriately twice, even putting his hand inside her shirt under the pretext of removing her blanket.
When the woman spoke out against the incident, doctors and other staff members at the hospital told her that the attendant had done similar things several times in the past. Speaking to mid-day, the doctor said she had suffered an injury on Tuesday and had been asked to get a CT scan done.
“I went to Nanavati hospital with my husband on Wednesday morning for the scan. I was shocked to see that there was no female attendant inside the room. Having female helpers is compulsory in such test rooms, otherwise legal action can be taken,” the doctor said.
Only Sunny Tak, a male helper in his late 20s was present in the room. “When I entered, the helper stopped my husband from coming in with me and asked him to wait outside, even though there was a glass partition inside the room where relatives can wait and watch the patient,” she added.
The doctor was asked to remove all the ornaments she was wearing before the CT scan. “I was lying on the scanning bed, when the helper brought a blanket.
I could have put the blanket over myself, but he did it for me, and touched me inappropriately. I was shocked, but then I thought it may have happened by mistake. I could sense, however, that he was giving me dirty looks,” the survivor said.
When the scan was done, the attendant stepped forward to remove the blanket. The doctor said, “On the pretext of removing the blanket, he tried to put his hands inside my shirt. I pushed him away and called my husband.”
The woman was keen on teaching the helper a lesson. “A few doctors and staff members at the hospital said that he has done such things several times in the past. I was speechless,” she added.
Begging for mercy
The woman made a written complaint to the hospital authorities and then went to Santacruz police station. Sunny was brought to the police station and union members accompanied him.
Sunny was allegedly thrashed by the police and when officials asked the woman whether she wanted to register a complaint, he began begging for mercy. The attendant said he had a family to take care of and would never dream of repeating what he had done to her. The woman then decided against filing an FIR.
“If I would not have complained to the hospital authorities and taken the helper to the police station, he would not have realised that such actions have consequences. He would have probably gone on to molest other women. I wanted to set an example because I cannot tolerate this. Women are not public property,” said the doctor.
While Sunny was suspended by the hospital authorities on Thursday, patients seemed apprehensive. “It’s shocking that the helper got away with doing such things for months.
How can there be no female attendants in the CT scan room? This raises questions about the hospital’s emphasis on women’s safety,” said a patient, on condition of anonymity.
Speaking to mid-day
Dr Ashok Hatolkar of Nanavati hospital said, “We suspended the concerned person immediately. An internal inquiry has been initiated by the sexual harassment cell.”
When he was asked why there were no female attendants in the CT scan room, Dr Hatolkar said, “There are sisters and attendants inside every testing room, but the attendant wasn’t present in the CT scan room then as she was busy with other work.
No one else was present because it is a radiation room. The incident took place while shifting the patient and the helper will not be spared if he is found guilty. We won’t tolerate such incidents.”