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Mental hospital patient in ICU, family seeks help from rights panel

india Updated: Sep 30, 2009 01:14 IST
Susamma Kurian

A fortnight after a patient at Thane Mental Hospital was rushed to the Thane Civil Hospital with a broken nose and head injury, his condition has worsened.

Borivli resident Sanjay Naik (56) was shifted to the civil hospital’s intensive care unit after he suffered an epileptic attack on September 26.

Sanjay had been admitted to the mental hospital on September 7.

“On September 13, we got a call saying my brother fell off the bed and got injured. But the patients sleep on mattresses, so how can he fall off a bed and end up with a broken nose and serious head injury?” asked Avdhut (47).

But now the Thane Mental Hospital authorities have done a U-turn.

“I conducted an inquiry and learnt that Naik must have fainted while getting up from his mattress and hit the railing of a nearby cot,” said Medical Superintendent Dr S.A. Malve of the Thane Mental Hospital.

But Naik’s family refuses to buy this theory.

“Circumstantial evidence suggests that he was beaten up inside the ward,” Avdhut said.

“I had written to the human rights commission and visited its office in Mumbai. An officer said the commission has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter from news reports and is investigating it,” he added.

The Naiks are also unhappy with Sanjay’s treatment at the civil hospital.

“Sanjay had convulsions on Tuesday... the bed sheets are not changed regularly. They have referred him to JJ Hospital, but we have no clue about his progress,” a concerned Avdhut said.

“We are in a Catch-22 situation. We are trying to get a copy of his medical reports for a second opinion and plan to shift him to a private hospital.”

The doctors said they would give the reports when the patient is discharged, added Avdhut.

“If the family is unhappy with the treatment, they can seek his discharge and take the medical reports,” said psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Kumawat.

“As of now, the patient is stable. The swelling inside his nose has subsided and he can soon be operated upon,” Dr Kumawat added.