Much to the relief of resident doctors in civic-run hospitals, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will start providing resident doctors from KEM and Nair hospitals free of cost protein rich breakfasts from the first week of October, after the initiative received a good response at Sion hospital. The civic body swung into action after tuberculosis claimed the life of a 23-year-old intern at Sion Hospital on July 1 and after MiD DAY reported about 15 doctors from the hospital contracting the disease in the last one year itself. From August 15, the resident doctors were provided with vegetarian and non-vegetarian food which was selected by a dietician so as to ensure that the over-worked resident doctors consume nutritious food to build their immunity against tuberculosis.
“Members of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) were a part of the committee along with the dietician and canteen staff. We observed the quantity and quality of the food being provided to the doctors,” said Dr Nilesh Kalote, a member of the MARD at Sion Hospital.
“So far, the initiative has received a good response from around 450 resident doctors from the hospital. We are also happy with the quality and quantity of the food. After a meeting with the BMC recently, it was decided that the protein rich breakfast will also be started in the other two major civic-run hospitals,” added Dr Kalote.
Earlier, resident doctors were provided with a measly R10 for breakfast which did not suffice for purchasing nutritious food in the canteen. While resident doctors work in 12-18 hours shifts each day, many of them skipped breakfast, making them vulnerable to the tuberculosis bacteria highly prevalent in hospitals.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, Additional Municipal Commissioner (health) of BMC Manisha Mhaiskar, said, “We have appealed to the resident doctors not to skip their breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. It will be provided free ofcost to the residents and help build their immunity. It will soonbe rolled out in KEM and Nair hospital by the first week of October.”
In August this year, three interns from Parel’s KEM hospital were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Following that, two nursing students, aged 24 and 20 respectively, from Mumbai Central’s Nair hospital were diagnosed with the disease, too. MARD members say that at least 20 doctors from Sion, KEM and Nair hospitals have contracted the air-borne disease in the last one year itself due to squalid living conditions in the hostels caused by over-crowding and poor ventilation in the living quarters.
Dr Swapnil Kulkarni, secretary of MARD, said, “We were informed that free breakfast will be provided in Nair and KEM hospital a while ago. However, we are yet unsure from when it will berolled out.” Mhaiskar further added that arrangements are now being made to coordinate with the dieticians of the hospitals to decide the menu along with the canteen staff. “The quality and quantity of the food will regularly be reviewed by a few MARD members along with the dietician,” she said.