The National Burns Hospital at Airoli continues to burn the ethics of the noble medical profession. Allegations after allegations by victims’ families and relatives expose that despite being registered under the Registrar of Charities, Mumbai and claims that their primary goal is to evolve simplified methods of treatment to reduce cost-of-treatment but in reality the cost of treatment is high, unhygienic conditions plague the hospital and there is apathy of management, complain relatives of victims. Started in the noblest of ways – the Burns Hospital at Airoli was commissioned on October 5th 2001. Over the years the society had done path – breaking work in Burns Management under the leadership of Dr. Manohar Keswani and his team. The primary goal of the hospital was to do treatment at affordable cost. However off late the pathetic and neglected conditions of the hospital are being exposed one after the other as families of victims complain of paying exorbitant bills for treatment that rarely cures besides unhygienic conditions and apathy of management that plagues the hospital. It may be recalled that only in July this year, a patient Kalpana Gaikwad had died. She had sustained 30 per cent burn injuries following a stove blast on June 1. The victims’ family was shocked when the hospital gave them a high bill of around Rs 7 lacs. This bill allegedly included consultation fee of Dr. Sunil Keswani – who runs the hospital and was sitting abroad but was still charging the patient in his name. At that time, NMTV team had also captured on camera the negligence of doctors and pathetic conditions of the hospital that could be seen in the food that had become stale and vegetables that had worms in them and could not be even fed to animals. Despite paying such high an amount, Kalpana died during treatment. Now another case that exposes the Burns Hospital has come to light. This time it is the close ones of Eashwar, an electrician working who came in contact with an overhead wire and suffered serious burns who are making allegations against Burns Hospital. Eashwar was admitted to the National Burns Centre. However, despite not giving appropriate treatment, the hospital just kept giving huge bills to the patient. Though the family paid the bills, the hospital authorities did not give proper details of the treatment; neither did they give any assurance of the patient’s life. And despite coughing up in lacs as bills, the hospital authorities continued to pressurize the patients’ family to discharge the patient if they did not clear the pending bills. Meanwhile, the patients’ family felt helpless about their inability to understand the condition of Eashwar. As always when we tried to contact Dr. Sunil Keswani and the management of the hospital, they refused to speak to us. The manner, in which one case after the other is being reported from the Burns Hospital at Airoli, exposes that despite being allotted land at very nominal price for providing medical treatment to burn victims at affordable rates, the National Burns Center is practicing commercialized and unethical standards. With bureau inputs, Divya Sathyanarayanan for NMTV News.
November 19, 2009