A BIZARRE reality has come to light at one of the most popular hospitals in Mumbai, Platinum, where a doctor is learnt to be playing with the lives of patients by flouting procedure and misrepresenting facts about his professional qualification. A right to information (RTI) reply recently revealed that Dr Shailendra Tukaram Patil operates on patients by claiming a degree that he does not possess. When a patient told him that he would register a complaint against him, Patil is said to have replied that no one could touch him as he was the son-in-law of the then Maharashtra agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.
A patient, Jarnal Singh Sandhu, obtained the information on the doctor through RTI and was shocked with the reply. Sandhu had asked if Dr Shailendra Patil was an MS degree holder as claimed by him. The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) replied (copy available with ABI) that the records showed Dr Shailendra Patil had not registered MS as his qualification. He had registered his D.Ortho and DNB (Ortho). The MMC also clarified that in accordance with the Indian Medical Council Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations, 2002, chapter 7 of clause 7, 20, “a physician shall not claim to be specialist unless he has special qualification in the branch”.
As Dr Shailendra Patil was using ‘MS’ as a qualification against his name everywhere, Sandhu complained to several authorities concerned as well as police officials, but nothing happened.
Not only does Dr Patil claim to be an MS degree holder, he operates on patients at Platinum, Fortis and Sterling Wockhardt hospitals on his own, without the other medical professionals that are required to be present. When Sandhu found out all this, he said he would expose Dr Patil and complain against him, but Dr Patil said he was not worried as he was the son-in-law of the agriculture minister.
“Dr Shailendra Patil ne mujhse kaha ki tujhe jitni complaints karni hai kar, jahan jaana hai ja, mera koi kuchh nahin ukhaad sakta, kyonki main Maharashtra ke kisaan mantri ka damaad hun,” said Sandhu.
Dr Shailendra Patil’s claims (he is son-in-law of minister) actually came true. Sandhu obtained all the information on Dr Patil on December 30, 2013, and has been complaining regularly since then. So far, nothing has happened.
Operation gone wrong, twice
The 40-year-old Janral Singh Sandhu is a permanent employee in the Birla group company Century Rayon, Shahad, Kalyan, and a resident of Hare Krishna Apartment, C- block, Ulhasnagar-3. On January 10, 2012, Sandhu met with an accident while on duty in CSY department, resulting in injury to his right knee. Initially, he was treated at the Century Rayon hospital and later shifted to the ESIC hospital, Ulhasnagar. The ESIC hospital referred him to Platinum hospital in Mulund (West) for an operation.
On March 26, 2012, Dr Shailendra Patil checked Sandhu and advised him to go for an arthroscopic surgery. On April 2, 2012, Patil conducted the arthroscopic surgery and discharged Sandhu on April 5, 2012.
But the pain in Sandhu’s knee only worsened. After a suggestion from the ESIC hospital, he conducted an MRI and was shocked to learn from the report that the operation done by Dr Patil had not only been a failure but also flouted standard medical procedure. He learnt that in fact Dr Patil had not conducted the surgery on the basic problem of lateral collateral ligament, which resulted in extreme aggravation of pain for Sandhu.
Sadnhu met Patil with the MRI report. Patil was unable to give a proper answer and, giving some excuse, he suggested Sandhu go for another operation at Sterling Wockhardt hospital, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, where he was a consulting doctor. Patil also said that the facilities at Wockhardt were better than at Platinum. On September 22, 2012, Patil again operated on Sandhu and discharged him on September 27. Patil also signed a certificate saying Sandhu was fit for light work.
But this time too Sandhu was not able to get rid of the pain. On the suggestion of the ESIC hospital on January 3, 2013, Sandhu again got done an MRI scan. This time too it was a very shocking conclusion. The same operation done a second time had also been a complete failure.
Sandhu approached Dr Patil a number of times with his complaint of pain, but Dr Patil started blaming Sandhu himself, saying he had psychological problems. A shocked Sandhu filed an RTI application about Dr Patil’s degree. In his paperwork, Patil claims he is an MS degree holder, but in fact he is not. On March 6, 2013, Sandhu sent a legal notice to Patil and complained to the Mulund police station as well as to the medical authorities concerned.
“I complained to several authorities as well Mulund police station but nothing happened as Patil has top-level connections in the Maharashtra government,” said Sandhu.
When ABI contacted Dr Patil, he said: “I don’t care about any complaint. Sandhu is defaming me. I have a valid and proper degree. After verification of my degrees, hospitals like Fortis and Wockhardt appointed me. Sandhu has filed two RTIs, to which he has got replies. He can approach the court and even the consumer court, I don’t care.”