Mumbai: Taking concern over the appalling incident where three patients had been bitten by rats while undergoing treatment at the civic-run healthcare facility last year, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has directed the Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital widely known as Shatabdi hospital to compensate Rs 2 lakh to each patient.
The incident came to light when a BJP corporator from the area Yadav, showed up to BMC’s general body with a rat in the cage which he had apparently trapped at Shatabdi hospital.
As per the media report, when the Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar condemned his action which violated the protocol of the house, Yadav said that he only wanted to point out that as a common man he was able to trap rats while the BMC’s insecticide officers were unable to lay traps for the number of rodents bustling inside the hospital premises, even the operation theatres. Thereafter, protests were staged at the hospital.
The order was passed by a member of MSHRC, MA Sayeed on April 27. The commission took suo motu cognizance of the rat bite cases after coming across newspaper reports, also rapped the BMC for its “shocking response” to the rights body’s notice and for failing to take adequate steps to provide a healthy, hygienic ambience to the patients, reports Mumbai Mirror.
The commission pointed out that that the hospital had been revamped at the cost of Rs 114 crore in 2013 and still rats are roaming in and around of the hospital and attacking patients relentlessly.
Further criticizing the hospital’s behaviour of patting itself “for having attended the patients and victims promptly and immediately” the commission pulled up BMC for not admitting the truth about news reports about the rate bite cases.
“A concern has been shown by BMC on the occurrence of the unfortunate incident in question and proceeded to elaborate the precautionary measures taken on the war footing to avoid such incidents… But if such steps were taken before the incident, then how and in what way the rats could manage to sneak into patients’ wards is the crucial question to be answered by BMC,” the MSHRC asserted.
While continuing the condemnation, the authorities added that the analysis of the explanation provided by BMC makes it clear that a futile attempt has been made to cover up its own lapses.
Calling out, “The authorities were waiting for a mishap to happen,” the commission directed the Principal Secretary of Public Health Dr Pradeep Vyas and Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to ensure that proper steps are taken to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
When asked for a comment on the order, Dr Nitin Ahirrao, the Acting Superintendent of the hospital, told Mumbai Mirror, “We are yet to get the order and hence, cannot say anything at this stage.”
MLA Chaudhari told the daily, “The BMC has now put up nets at Shatabdi hospital to protect the patients from rodents. But it should have done so long back.”
One of the patients, Nerulkar was bitten on her left eye and the other was Shantaben Jadhav was bitten on the right foot.