He had allegedly refused to deliver an adivasi woman’s baby at Central Ulhasnagar Hospital, mid-day finds sorry state of affairs at this institution
The Ulhasnagar Hospital where she was allegedly asked to move to a Kalwa hospital
The Chief Civil Surgeon of the Central Ulhasnagar Hospital, Thane, Dr Manohar Bansode has issued show-cause notice on Friday to Dr Kasam Dalwai, a gynaecologist at the hospital, for allegedly refusing to deliver the baby of a woman from the adivasi community. The notice gives Dalwai 24 hours to file a reply. The letter also states, “It should be noted that if the disclosure is not received within the prescribed period, disciplinary action will be proposed against you.”
After two government-run hospitals refused to help the pregnant woman who then delivered a stillborn baby in a private ambulance on March 20, several questions have been raised about medical services provided by such hospitals in Karjat and Ulhasnagar. mid-day visited both hospitals to find the reason behind the incident and learnt that things were not running smoothly. mid-day found gross lack of infrastructure and manpower.
Sangeeta, who lost her baby, and her mother Kamli Bai
On Thursday, mid-day visited the house of the woman in Laakhyachiwadi (Adivasi pada) which is 15 km to 16 km from Karjat station. mid-day also visited the Karjat Sub-district Hospital and Central Hospital Ulhasnagar and stayed till evening to observe the services provided to patients. While speaking to mid-day, victim Sangeeta Pawar, 30, said, “On March 20 morning, my husband Vithal took me to the Sub-district government hospital at Karjat after I experienced pain. We reached the hospital around 9 am and the doctor there examined me and said the baby had passed stool inside the womb, and they would have to operate. The doctor said the baby might need to be kept in a NICU and they didn’t have the facility. They referred us to Ulhasnagar government hospital.”
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“Around 10.30 am a government ambulance came and at around 12 pm we reached the Ulhasnagar hospital in it. There the doctor saw the referral paper and admitted me. After that, around 5 pm, the doctor told us to move to a government hospital at Kalwa without stating the reason. As I was in pain my husband begged the doctor to deliver the baby there but the doctors refused and told us to leave. My husband called the 108 ambulance at around 5.30 pm but when it did not come till 8pm my husband requested one Mahesh Gangavane there to provide a private ambulance. As we were heading towards Kalwa hospital around 8.30pm I delivered in the ambulance but my baby was not alive,” she added.
The Karjat hospital where Sangeeta first went
Pawar’s mother, Kambli Bai, said, “My daughter suffered for 12 hours but couldn’t get treatment at both hospitals due to lack of infrastructure. We don’t have money to go to a private hospital. What we want is action against both the hospitals and administration. We want better facilities at rural hospitals so no one else suffers our fate.”
No NICU, no anaesthetist
The 50-bed Sub-district hospital at Karjat has no infrastructure, limited resources and few doctors. A doctor there said, “We don’t have an NICU, but we perform both normal and Caesarean deliveries. Our anaesthetist has been deputed to an Alibag hospital, and here on call anaesthetists come only after 5pm and not even during emergencies. We do not have resources and experts in a tough situation. If a patient is critical then without wasting time we refer them to a higher centre.”
A local resident said there are very few facilities at the hospital. “Even for a sonography, we have to go to a private health centre.”
While speaking to mid-day, Dr Manoj Bansode at the Karjat Sub-district Hospital said they don’t have an anaesthetist and other experts. He said, “Our doctor attended to the patient. There was a risk to the baby and he immediately transferred the woman to the higher center at Ulhasnagar for treatment without wasting time. We have also sent a proposal 6 months back to make a 100-bedded hospital here so that we can get more doctors.”
When mid-day visited the state government-run Central Hospital at Ulhasnagar a senior official there said, “The day on which the victim came was the last day of strike for the old pension scheme. So staff was not present. This could be one of the reasons she was asked to move to the Kalwa hospital.”
But many local residents complained that for the past few days most of the patients were transferred to Kalwa by the hospital. Shiv Sena MLA from Karjat Constituency Mahendra Thorve said, “We will seek the details and I will also speak to the local hospital authorities about the lapses. The matter should be investigated.”