'Hospital trying to shift mother out of ward'

Published: 22 November, 2012 08:18 IST | Naveen Nair |

A family member has provided a video of a meeting held with hospital management, where the latter are seen trying to convince them to shift Jasmine to a private room; they claim that this is the first step towards a complete evacuation

Are the authorities at Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital trying to gradually oust Jasmine Naik from their hospital premises? Family members of the woman, whose infant was kidnapped from the hospital ward on October 24, have alleged that the hospital authorities, who have so far shown no interest in her wellbeing, are now trying to coax her out of the ward and into a private room.

To prove their claim, the family has even provided video footage of a meeting between the two parties, which soon turns into a heated argument.
After abduction, Jasmine had refused to vacate her bed till she got news of her lost child. Around 11 am on Monday, members of the management at Wadia Maternity Hospital went to the post-natal ward to meet Jasmine’s relatives.

Get Out! While Chandra Iyengar is seen in the video trying to convince the family to vacate the bed in the post-natal ward and shift to a private room, hospital’s CEO Mini Bodhanwala looks on

Since Jasmine’s father Ganesh Mhapankar and her husband Devdas Naik were not present at the hospital, Jasmine’s mother Sunita refused to vacate the bed immediately. When Mhapankar and other kin arrived at the hospital, they went to meet the hospital’s CEO Mini Bodhanwala. One of the relatives managed to surreptitiously make a video recording the incidents at the meeting. The footage clearly shows the two members of the management and Jasmine’s family members exchanging angry words.

Chandra Iyengar, a former IAS official who has been appointed by the Wadia family to monitor the administration of the hospital, and Bodhanwala, the newly appointed CEO, are seeing trying to convince the family to vacate the bed in the post-natal ward and shift to a private room. At the outset, Bodhanwala is heard coaxing Jasmine’s relatives to allow the transfer, offering the explanation that her presence in the ward is troubling other patients who are reminded of the baby’s loss. They are also seen providing the logic that Jasmine will be benefited by the transfer, as she will be able to rest for a few days there ‘in peace’.

In response, the family is seen questioning their motives, demanding to know why the hospital authorities hadn’t bothered to enquire about her wellbeing earlier. Matters soon take an ugly turn, and voices are raised on both sides. The family members made it clear that they wouldn’t give in to the pressure and shift Jasmine from the ward to any room or accept her discharge.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Jasmine’s father, said, “The management wants to get rid of us. It hasn’t even been a month since the kidnap, and the doctors have already approached us several times, asking us to take discharge. Earlier they assured us that we could stay in the hospital as long as we want, and then they go back on their words and ask us to vacate the bed.”

Where’s the sketch?
The family also raised a question about the sudden disappearance of a notice board used earlier to display the sketch of the kidnapper at the entrance of the hospital building. This was the only poster displayed at the entrance of the hospital.  The relatives alleged that the board was removed last week and never replaced at the entry point. Even the security guards who were hired a week after the incident do not have a copy of the sketch in their cabin near the entrance. Relatives believe that the board was removed on purpose, to save the image of the hospital.

The other side
A highly placed source in the management of Wadia hospital, said, “We never asked the family to take a discharge. We only wanted them to shift the patient to a private room. The video footage that was recorded was done secretly without our knowledge. The footage could have been manipulated, so I cannot comment on its content.” Regarding the board with the sketch, the official said, “No sketch has been officially released by the police so far. If one such sketch has been released, the hospital management has not been provided a copy of it. If any official sketch of the kidnapper arrives at our office, we’d put it up in our hospital building.” 

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