COVID-19 in Mumbai: Mahim hospital shut for a month as patient dies

Updated: 31 July, 2020 07:17 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Decision comes after 34-year-old's death due to 'negligence'; other patients to be shifted out

Family Care Hospital in Mahim. Pic/ Atul Kamble
Family Care Hospital in Mahim. Pic/ Atul Kamble

Following complaints of inflated bills and the latest allegation of medical negligence that led to the death of 34-year-old Prashant Kale at Family Care Hospital in Mahim on July 25, the civic body suspended its licence for a month on Thursday. While Kale's kin has filed a complaint with Mahim police, the hospital has been asked to shut down and discharge all patients within 48 hours.

Kiran Dhanu, Kale's brother-in-law said that he had gone to Saraswati Nursing Home in Matunga on July 24 for an infected boil. "He had a painful boil and fever that came and went. The doctor suggested draining it to avoid the pus from spreading. The doctor initially said we could take him home but then put him on oxygen saying he was breathless," he said.

Then doctors got Kale to do a chest X-ray and said he might have COVID-19. He was asked to go to Family Care where he shifted at 11:30 pm on July 24.

Family Care Hospital has been asked to discharge all patients within 48 hours. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
Family Care Hospital has been asked to discharge all patients within 48 hours. Pic/ Atul Kamble

Relatives claimed that Kale was put in the COVID-19 ICU even though his infection was not confirmed and made them purchase Tocilizumab from the hospital's branch in Mira Road the next day. Around 10 pm on July 25, doctors informed Dhanu that Kale died before he could be given Tocilizumab. Alleging incorrect treatment, Dhanu said, "The hospital never focussed on the original problem and was determined to treat him only for COVID, which he later tested negative for. We don't understand how a healthy person just died," said Dhanu. BJP corporator Sheetal Gambhir too has written to Mahim police demanding an FIR.

Plaints of overcharging

The G North ward has received around five complaints from COVID patients' kin regarding overcharging. The hospital has been issued show cause notices twice. The order issued on Thursday stated, "It is observed that in spite of repeated warnings there is no improvement in charging bills to the patients," and also referred to Kale's death.

Prashant Kale had visited the doctor for a painful boil
Prashant Kale had visited the doctor for a painful boil

Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, G North ward, said, "We have ordered the hospital to shut down for a month. All patients must be discharged, no new admissions will be allowed." Another ward official said that an enquiry will be conducted before deciding on further action since Family Care should have shifted a critical Kale to a specialised hospital.

Hospital says

The hospital management denied the allegations. Dr Kiran Patil, who was treating Kale, said that he had come to Family Care Hospital in a critical condition and was treated as per ICMR guidelines. "The patient came with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). He had a chest infection which could be bacterial or caused by COVID. He was put on a non-invasive ventilator and given supportive treatment along with broad spectrum antibiotics. As seen in other ARDS patients, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he could not be resuscitated," he said. When asked about the negative report, Dr Patil said that the RT PCR tests have a 65 per cent positivity rate and many COVID patients have been treated even if their swab tests return negative.

Also Read: Man stabs doctor in chest, neck and hand after death of COVID-19 positive mother

The hospital spokesperson said that the issue is politically motivated and a group of people had come to the hospital to threaten the staff on Wednesday. "We have been involved in treatment of COVID patients from the start. Local politicians came to the hospital to damage the property and we have filed a complaint with Mahim police. The BMC gave us a show cause notice but haven't given us a chance to reply. We are in talks with the BMC to sort the issue out," said the spokesperson.

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First Published: 31 July, 2020 07:08 IST

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