Shocking: JJ Hospital tosses mentally challenged patient out on street

Apr 28, 2014, 10:41 IST | Noorfatima Dhunvawala

22-year-old, whose treatment wasn’t completed, has been missing since 10 days. Social worker, who had admitted the man in the Mumbai civic hospital a month ago, was not informed of the discharge

In a shocking case of medical apathy, a 22-year-old physically and mentally challenged man has been missing for ten days after the state-run JJ hospital allegedly discharged him without completing his treatment. The hospital authorities did not even inform the social worker who had admitted the man of the discharge despite being given strict instructions to do so.

Lawyer and social worker Siddhvidya Thakur spotted young Krishna Sudhakar Mane (22) on a pavement a month ago Krishna Sudhakar Mane
Lawyer and social worker Siddhvidya Thakur spotted young Krishna Sudhakar Mane (22) on a pavement a month ago

Lawyer and social worker Siddhvidya Thakur spotted young Krishna Sudhakar Mane (22) on a pavement a month ago. She realised that his IQ was very low, his legs were paralysed and he had a severe wound on his leg. The wound was the result of an accident Mane was in, but he could not get it treated because of lack of money.

Thakur decided to help Mane and got him admitted to the Vashi Public Hospital but he was shifted to the Sir JJ Hospital in Byculla on April 7 so that he could be treated surgically. Thakur informed the doctors at JJ to contact her in case of any emergency, visited the hospital whenever she could, and asked to be informed before Mane was discharged. She had also said she would bear the expenses of the treatment.

The deed is done
At 7 pm on April 17, however, hospital authorities allegedly told Mane he was being shifted to an ashram in Borivli and, despite his protests, threw him out on the street to fend for himself with hardly any money in his pocket. Mane’s wound had barely begun to heal when he was thrown out and the surgery that was planned for him allegedly never took place.

This circle of negligence and apathy was completed by keeping Thakur in the dark about the discharge, and Mane was allegedly never taken to the ashram either.“Mane had my number written down in a diary. At 1 am on the night of his discharge, he asked a man to call and inform me that he is at Sandhurst Road station. Mane also spoke to me and started crying on the phone.

I rushed to the station but couldn’t find him. Since then, I have been looking for Mane everywhere but I cannot trace him. I gave clear instructions to the dean and the doctors treating Mane not to discharge him without informing me,” said Thakur.

Passing the buck
Thakur went to JJ and complained but no one at the hospital actually knew who was with Mane when he was taken out of the establishment. According to the hospital staff, it is the responsibility of police to escort the patient out and the police said it is the duty of the staff. Both the cops and the hospital authorities were uncertain about the date on which he was discharged.

Sunil Pathak, a police constable who saw Mane leaving the hospital, said, “I felt sad when I saw a ward boy throwing a physically challenged patient out of the hospital. I hired a cab and gave him R50. I felt extremely sorry for him.”

Bhagyashri, a patient in the ward next to Mane said, “The ward boy came in the evening and told Mane that he was getting discharged. The 22-year-old was crying because he didn’t want to go. The ward boy told Mane that he would be taken to an ashram in Borivli. I gave Mane Rs 100 because he just had Rs 20 with him.”

Forgery follows apathy
The social worker has been visiting the hospital every day since Mane was thrown out but the hospital authorities have turned a deaf ear to her. The doctors also gave her a discharge letter which is allegedly forged. “I have been at JJ for four years but I have never seen such a letter. The letter is completely forged,” said constable Anil Narkar.

The other side
When contacted, Dean T P Lahane refused to comment on the issue. Dr Nitin Bavrekar, superintendent, JJ Hospital, said, “Our hospital staff are not allowed to provide information to any third person. This is why we found it irrelevant to inform the social worker.”

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