After a series of accidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway have raised hackles among the state administration, officials from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) are contemplating approaching local private hospitals to ensure road accident victims receive timely treatment.
At a meeting held a few days back at Sahyadri Guesthouse, some officials suggested that before setting up the proposed trauma centre, authorities should contact nearby hospitals in Panvel and Navi Mumbai area, asking them to treat accident victims. Senior officials from the corporation are now planning to talk to concerned authorities from nearby hospitals so that there are no delays in providing medical aid to accident victims during the period referred to as the golden hour.
This in spite of MSRDC inviting an expression of interest from medical institutions for setting up a trauma centre with an air ambulance facility on the e-way stretch between Lonavala and Pune.
“At present it has been observed that sometimes a lot of time is spent in bringing accident victims from the accident spot to the government or public hospitals in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. Because of this delay, sometimes condition of the patients worsens. Hence we plan to approach private hospitals. We will be requesting private hospitals to admit the patient, so that lives of many accident victims can be saved,” said a senior MSRDC official, on condition of anonymity.
Presently, all accident victims from the e-way are taken to hospitals in Navi Mumbai or Mumbai. Among them are Ashtvinayak Hospital and Panacea Hospital in Panvel, and MGM hospitals in Kamothe and Belapur. According to MSRDC officials, if talks with private hospitals are successful, then grievously injured patients can be admitted to Fortis and First Referral Unit Hospital, Vashi for treatment, and if the patient has sustained burn injuries, then he/she can be admitted to the National Burns Centre at Airoli.
Some of the accident victims are also brought to government and municipal hospitals in Mumbai, depending on the condition of the patient. The closest government/public hospital on the Mumbai side is Sion Hospital and on the Pune side is Sassoon Hospital.
What motorists say?
Andheri resident Harsh Kotak (23), who frequently uses the expressway on weekends to go to his bungalow in Lonavla, said, “Concerned officials should talk to local hospitals and request them to admit the accident victims, as it may save lives.”
Virendra Singh (33), another frequent e-way traveller, said, “Setting up a trauma centre at a location close to or along the expressway will take a long time. Till then, the MSRDC must consider the private hospital alternative.”
MSRDC Superintendent Engineer A V Deodhar, who is also in charge of the expressway, said, “We have called for expression of interest for the trauma centre. Let’s see how many firms show interest in the project. If a patient or the accident victim needs an air lift, the nearest two airports are Mumbai and Pune, thus, there is need for one such facility in between the two cities.”
The official further stated that in case of any medical emergencies, relatives would have to call the air ambulance facility and hire their services. “As it is about providing emergency medical help, no landing and take off charges will be levied on the air operator,” informed the official.
The facility will have to be established with funds from a private party, as the project will be on Built — Operate — Transfer basis. MSRDC will only provide access to the trauma building and heliport from the service road of the Mumbai — Pune Expressway.