It is a strange twist of horrible fate which was happened in the life of Manju. Though her beloved husband, Mithulal Bafna, could raise Rs.43 lakh for a rare surgery for Manju, the erudite doctors from Hinduja Hospital, in Mahim, Mumbai could not save her life.
60 year-old Mithulal Bafna is an employee with a private firm was ready to spend all his hard-earned money to save his beloved wife, 56 year-old Manju. After a heart surgery in which a highly-costly heart valve was placed in her heart but could not save Manju’s life.
Now the bereaved Mithulal Bafna has approached Maharashtra Medical Council on December 28.
He said the doctors had assured him that the new procedure —transcatheter mitral valve repairs—was "200% safe". He also said that doctors assured him that his wife, Manju, would be back home within five days. Instead she left the hospital in a comatose state after almost 60 days and died a few minutes later in an ambulance on December 19. Though the hospital refunded Rs 12.47 lakh to Bafna on "humanitarian grounds", the money was not enough to pacify his sorrow. That’s why he now has approached Maharashtra Medical Council.
The case underlines soaring healthcare costs and crumbling doctor-patient ties.
The family insisted they were not informed about the full extent of the risk; the cardiologist who flew down from Jaipur for the transcatheter procedure, Dr Ravinder Singh Rao, never met them before the procedure; and the sale papers of the imported valve mentions Rs 1.5 lakh, when they paid Rs 11 lakh for it. One of the doctors claimed the family threatened him over the expenses.
Of the Rs 43 lakh expense, Bafna got Rs 12.47 lakh refund from Hinduja Hospital and another Rs 11 lakh from medical insurance.
But the medical men in the case—Hinduja Hospital's medical director Sanjay Agarwala said there was not negligence from the doctors. A cardiac surgeon Kushal Pandey operated Manju six years back. The valve failed to deploy but the surgeons saved the day and fixed a mechanical valve, he added.
Dr Singh Rao, who is among the few trained in the new transcatheter method of replacing heart valves, said every procedure carries a risk. "Valves slip away after placement in 20% of these cases. This is valve embolism, a well-documented entity," he said, adding he had waived his charges in the Bafna case. The family claimed they were not forewarned about valve embolism.