Less than a month after BMC sanctioned ₹1.5 crore to repair the old MRI machine, the hospital has proposed to get a new advanced machine. Six months after a man died after getting pulled into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at the civic-run BYL Nair Hospital, the Agripada facility has proposed to buy a new advanced MRI machine for around Rs 8 crore. Questions are now being raised as this comes just a month after the BMC standing committee passed an order to repair the old machine for ₹1.5 crore. On January 27, Lalbaug resident Rajesh Maru died after getting pulled into an MRI machine while he was holding an oxygen cylinder. The machine has been shut ever since. A doctor, ward boy and an attendant had been arrested in the case for negligence causing death.
When asked about the expenditure on both the new machine and repairing of the old machine, Dean of Nair Hospital, Dr Ramesh Bharmal said, “We have already requested for a new advanced MRI machine for Nair Hospital but the tendering process and other formalities will take some time, may be more than a year. Meanwhile, we have to get this machine repaired.” Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party group leader in the BMC, alleged a scam in the double expenditure. “The current MRI machine was brought to the hospital in 2008. We were told that any MRI machine’s life expectancy is not more than 10 years, that’s why Nair is buying a new MRI machine for around ₹8 crore. Then what is the point in repairing the old machine at a cost of ₹1.5 crore?” Meanwhile, Maru’s death has left his family members in financial strife. His elder sister Leena told Mirror, “My brother was the only earning member in the family. After his death, to make ends meet, I had to start working as a maid.”
“After my father retired, my brother had started working as a salesman and he was earning more than ₹35,000 a month. We were all dependent on him. Now we don’t have anyone to take care of us,” she added. While the family got ₹5 lakh from the CM, Leena alleged that they did not receive any compensation from BMC. “My brother died due to the hospital’s negligence. Why did no one stop him from taking the cylinder inside?” she wondered. In response to the family’s allegations, Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sunil Dhamane said that the family had demanded a job for a member of the family, a request that the civic body is yet to consider. A BMC enquiry report has found that the hospital did not follow the protocol of allowing only two relatives per patient and permitted at least four persons to enter the MRI room. – Mumbai Mirror