Mumbai: Six hours and 44 km later, man gets 'immediate' medical aid

Family members of Mahesh Diwal claim they had to shift him to three different hospitals before he was treated for a gash on his right forearm that resulted in heavy blood loss

It does not matter when a common man is seeking political or medical help, running from pillar to post is inevitable.

It was while falling that Mahesh accidentally hit the mirror fixed above a washbasin, which crashed on his arm and gashed his right forearm
It was while falling that Mahesh accidentally hit the mirror fixed above a washbasin, which crashed on his arm and gashed his right forearm

It took 26-year-old Mahesh Diwal six hours to travel 42.5 kilometres and shift three hospitals to receive ‘immediate’ medical attention to treat the profusely bleeding forearm. He sustained an injury in a freak mishap at his residence in Gorai on Monday night.

The accident
According to the Diwals, Mahesh injured his forearm after he slipped in the bathroom. It was while falling that Mahesh accidentally hit the mirror fixed above the washbasin, which crashed on his arm and gashed his right forearm.

>> Gorai to Shatabdi Hospital: 7 km
Soon after the incident, family members rushed Mahesh to Shatabdi Hospital. They alleged that though Mahesh was bleeding, none of the hospital staffers came to his aid. In fact, they had to wait for over 30 minutes before the doctor finally examined Mahesh. “The stole I had wrapped around his forearm was drenched in his blood. In fact, the blood was dripping through it.

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Despite it being an emergency, we had to wait in the queue. There were at least 10 patients before us. After checking the wound, the doctor asked us to visit Nair or JJ Hospital for further treatment,” said Mahesh’s wife. She claimed that Mahesh received only first aid treatment at Shatabdi, and the on-duty doctor handed over a reference note for Nair Hospital.

>> Shatabdi to Nair Hospital: 34 km
The family members then hired an ambulance from Shatabdi Hospital and covered 34 km between the two hospitals. It was midnight by the time they reached Nair Hospital.

Doctors here took over 30 minutes to examine Mahesh, following which they asked him to visit JJ Hospital because the X-ray machine at Nair was defunct. “They informed us about it after completing the paperwork. Just like us, 9 to 10 patients were asked to go elsewhere. The doctors even questioned our motive behind travelling from Kandivli to Mumbai Central,” said Mahesh.

>> Nair to JJ Hospital: 2.5 km
The Diwals finally reached JJ Hospital by 2 am on Tuesday. Here too doctors took over an hour to treat Mahesh. It was after the X-ray report confirmed that he had not sustained a fracture, that the doctors stitched the gash. Mahesh was discharged from the hospital by 3.30 am.

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“There was a major incision. We cleaned the wound and put 14 stitches in all. Surprisingly, the patient wasn’t feeling weak or nauseated despite heavy blood loss. Hence we neither admitted him nor opted for blood transfusion,” said the doctor who treated Mahesh.

The other side
The patient might have sustained a severe injury or needed specialised treatment like plastic surgery for a serious muscle injury, due to which he must have been asked to shift. But again, it varies from patient to patient - Dr K Pimple, medical superintendent, Shatabdi Hospital

We have informed Sion, KEM and JJ hospitals about the unavailability of the services at night, so that they accept patients referred by us. Secondly, the patient that was referred (to JJ Hospital) must have been in a stable condition. We don’t shift patients without ensuring their vitals are stable - On-duty resident medical officer, Nair Hospital

Hole in the pocket
“We belong to the Adivasi community and have a modest financial background. If we are to spend such amounts cost for hiring the ambulance (R2,000) and medicines and food (Rs 1,000) for seeking medical aid at civic hospitals, then what is the point of having such facilities closer to home?” asked Mahesh.

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