Out-of-order elevators force family to carry kin's body down the stairs

The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Hospital in Parel is undergoing renovation and many sections of the hospital are in a shambles. Though the old hospital building has elevators, most of them are non-functional, as there is a delay in transfer of funds from the state government to the hospital. On Tuesday, relatives of a deceased patient created a ruckus after they were forced to carry the body down from the second floor through the stairs.

MGM Hospital
Parel-based MGM Hospital’s non-functional elevator remains in a bad shape due to lack of funds

With the renovation underway, all except the emergency and critical services have been shifted to other hospitals. The facility is being renovated after it was granted permission to build a medical college and a new hospital building.

MiD DAY recently reported about the plight of MGM hospital’s 36 paramedical staff who have been working without a salary for the past eight months. Another issue came to light after the death of Vanita Murkar (65) who was admitted to the hospital on February 28 following a major fracture to her leg. Murkar succumbed to her failing health on Tuesday around 7.15 am.

When her relatives tried to use the lift to bring the body down, they realised that the lifts were not working. Most of the lifts at the old hospital building have not been functioning for a long time now. Only a couple of them are in working condition and even those were not functional on Tuesday morning.

Murkar’s relatives refused to carry the body down through the narrow stairs, fearing that it might fall off the stretcher. Following this an argument ensued between the hospital staff and the relatives. Finally the body was brought down from the broader stairs of the new building after demolishing a section of a wall that connects to the new building.

Dr Nimish Shah, medical superintendent, said, “The lift maintenance is conducted by OTIS company but the funds for the maintenance have not been provided by the government. The central government sanctioned the funds on time but there is a delay from the state government in transferring the same to the hospital. Hence the lifts are not functional.”

He added, “There are several staff at the hospital who are yet to get their salaries despite the central government transferring the funds to the state government. We have raised a temporary fund to pay the lift company. Soon they will be operational.”

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