Sixty-two-year-old Rukmini Somakumar made the tiring journey from her house in Kalyan to Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines on Tuesday for an X-ray, but was turned away because the city’s largest private hospital did not have electricity.
The hospital lost its power supply on Monday afternoon when a fire broke out in its electric substation due to short circuit. Supply in two of the three wings was restored after 1 pm on Tuesday while restoration work was being carried out in the new wing until late evening on Tuesday.
Power in third wing had not been restored until 9 pm on Tuesday.
The 830-bed hospital has three wings, the old wing, the medical research centre and the new wing. Generators supported critical wards such as the Intensive Care Unit and the trauma center.
Sources said planned surgeries, investigations and tests were postponed and only emergency patients were admitted. “I was called for an X-ray on Tuesday. I travelled for more than two hours and on reaching the hospital, the administration asked me to come some other day,” Somakumar said. She added that the hospital authorities claimed to have called her, but said she did not receive any such phone call.
Thirty-five-year-old Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Mulund, was asked to come to the hospital on Tuesday for some tests, but was turned away and has been given an appointment for two weeks later.
More than 130 new patients are admitted to the hospital every day on an average but on Tuesday less than 50 patients were admitted.
Senior officials from the hospital, however, made contradictory statements over the admission of new patients in the last 24 hours. “No patient has been turned down in the last 24 hours,” said Ramesh Bhattad, head of the hospital’s human resources department. Medical Director Dr D.P. Vyas, on the other hand, admitted that new admissions, barring emergencies, had been stopped.
Families of patients in the ICU claimed the air conditioning in the old wing was not working.
“The air-conditioning of the ICU in the old wing is shut and the hospital won’t allow us to shift the patient elsewhere for the next 48 hours,” said Hiramal Salvi, whose 24-year-old cousin, Swapnil Kasare, has been in the ICU for four days.
Despite the inconvenience and discontent, families could not shift patients who were critical because that could have been risky.