3,855 patients have ‘absconded’ from Mumbai’s JJ Hospital in past five years, shows RTI
Data was accessed from major departments such as general medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics, among othersmumbai Updated: Dec 11, 2017 10:50 IST
In the past five years, 3,855 patients have absconded from state-run JJ Hospital, leaving their treatment and case files at the hospital, according to the response to a Right To Information (RTI) query. The RTI response blames lackadaisical approach of hospital staff, security lapses and behaviour of doctors and nursing staff with patients and relatives for it.
The data was accessed from major departments such as general medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics, psychiatry and orthopedic departments. It showed 310 from paediatric and 15 psychiatry department absconded without informing the hospital staff from 2013 to May 2017.
“Unlike private hospitals, government-run hospitals don’t put excess monetary burden on the patients, which may force them to quit the treatment and sneak out of the hospital,” said RTI activist Chetan Kothari who had filed the query.
Kothari said none of the entry is from the Discharge Against Medical Advice (DAMA) category -- where patients are relieved against the advice of treating physician, based on family’s demands. “If relatives want to take discharge against medical advice, they can request a DAMA. Most of the times, the doctors and nursing staff’s approach towards the patients and their relatives is hostile,” said Kothari.
According to the state government’s guidelines, disappearance of patients is immediately reported to the resident medical officer (RMO) of the certain department who, in turn, submits a formal police complaint regarding the matter with the local police station. While the data show complaints were duly forwarded to police officials, not a single person was traced back.
Dean of JJ Hospital Dr SG Nandkar and medical superintendent Dr Surase remained unavailable for a comment and didn’t respond to the calls of messages made by the reporter. However a senior doctor from the hospital said the major reason is they want to avoid paying money for certain tests during the surgery. “We follow all guidelines and our CCTV cameras keep a strict watch on entrance and exit of every ward,” said the official