Relatives of Jeetendra Shah, an injured blast victim admitted to Saifee Hospital, stood agitated outside the Charni Road hospital on Thursday afternoon.
They were one of at least two families who had been asked to pay a deposit of Rs 25,000 after their injured relatives were taken in for treatment on Wednesday night.
“We did not pay because we didn’t have the money at night, but this morning we heard that the state government has offered free treatment for all blast victims,” said Mahesh Shah, brother of Jeetendra, a diamond broker who suffered a major injury on his left leg when a bomb exploded near him at Opera House.
The Shahs are grateful, however, that the hospital successfully carried out the patient’s leg surgery without asking for the deposit again. Ramesh Ghadia, whose brother Vallabbhai Ghadia is still critical after being operated on both his legs, did pay the Rs 25,000 deposit at the hospital on Wednesday night.
“The total cost of the treatment will run into several lakhs, which we will not be able to pay,” said Ghadia, who was relieved to hear about the state government’s decision. Officials at Saifee Hospital claim that no blast victim was knowingly asked to pay a deposit.
“If any blast victim relatives have paid the fee, they can show us the receipt and we will definitely refund them,” said Dr. SJ Bapai, the hospital’s assistant director for public relations. Ghadia, however, does not intend to get the amount refunded.
“The doctors at the hospital have provided very good treatment to my brother, for which Rs 25,000 is a small amount to claim back,” said Ghadia, a Malad resident whose brother is a diamond broker working at Opera House