Mumbai's Kokilaben Hospital serves worm in salad to dengue patient

Updated: Sep 13, 2016, 08:43 IST | Aparna Shukla |

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, known for offering world-class services, allegedly served a salad with worms to a patient recently, the 2nd such experience of the family at the facility in a year


Worms found in a salad served to Anoll Merchant’s parents last week

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, known for offering world-class services, has allegedly been getting away with offering sub-standard food to patients. It allegedly served a salad with worms to a patient recently, the second such experience of a family at the facility in a year.

Tin foil in a jar of soup that was served to Anoll Merchant’s wife last year
Tin foil in a jar of soup that was served to Anoll Merchant’s wife last year

Anoll Merchant (37), a Juhu resident and financial advisor, said he admitted his parents at the hospital for dengue treatment from September 3-11. During the stay, one of his parents was allegedly served a salad with worms.

Merchant immediately raised the issue with the administrative head of the facility, Ram Acharya. “He told me not to complain, saying he would lose his job. The staff and the cook said the same thing. But enough is enough! We come here to get the best service. This is not the treatment we deserve,” he fumed.

Second time unlucky
Merchant’s anger stems from a similar nasty experience last year, when during his wife Neha’s treatment for a tear in a tissue between the thigh and the shinbone, she was allegedly given a jar of soup with tin foil in it. A written complaint was filed with the hospital. “I was called by the administrative staff, assured that the mistake wouldn’t be repeated, and the food vendor would be changed,” said Merchant.

Hospital defiant
He alleged that despite being in the wrong, hospital authorities told him brusquely that the vendor would not be sacked. “I got some Reliance higher-ups’ numbers from a friend. I even tweeted about the experience. After this, I got a call that the vice-president of the hospital wanted to see me. During the meeting, he assured me that the mistake wouldn’t be repeated, but said rudely that they won’t change the vendor.” Merchant claimed that he was offered a discount of Rs 3,000 in a bill of Rs 1.5 lakh and later, a gift hamper by the management. “It isn’t about the money. The fact that they offered us sub-standard food again hurt us. They should either let patients’ caregivers bring their own food or ensure good quality meals.”

Hospital Speak
Ram Narain, executive director of the hospital, said, “We have met the complainant and we are cognisant of the fact that there is a problem, but in an organisation, there are certain procedures and protocols that need to be followed. When there is an issue with a doctor, a nurse or a manager, you do not just dismiss them from service; you follow the guidelines. Procedural inquiries into the complaint are on. We will make a proper assessment and then initiate action.”

Asked why there was no quality checking mechanism put in place after last time’s complaint, he said, “We have raised this particular question with the vendor. If there is a particular manager, a supervisor or any individual responsible for this, proper action will be taken. Since an inquiry is going on, I cannot say much.” Narain refused to divulge the name of the meal vendor.

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