Mumbai: After 5 years and Rs 43 crore, Bhagwati Hospital to reopen minus OT

When the hospital re-opens this month with 110 beds, just 20 doctors will run the facility with one ambulance

Five years and Rs 43 crore later all that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has to show for the revamped super-speciality Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli is a 110-bed facility that doesn’t even have an operation theatre or adequate doctors.

The 11-storey new-look Bhagwati Hospital is expected to re-open this month with 110 beds. It is supposed to be turned into a 1,000-bed super-speciality centre
The 11-storey new-look Bhagwati Hospital is expected to re-open this month with 110 beds. It is supposed to be turned into a 1,000-bed super-speciality centre

An RTI query, filed by social activist Dhananjay Junnarkar, has revealed that not only will the 11-storey hospital be unable to perform surgeries when it likely re-opens this month, but just 20 doctors will run the entire facility. Besides, only Rs 12 crore of the Rs 43 crore released by the BMC from 2007-2015 has gone into its construction.

The hospital will largely cater to patients from Borivli to Safala and Palghar.

It was decommissioned in 2013 after the BMC decided to convert the 374-bed facility into a 1,000-bed super-speciality centre with a postgraduate medical college.

Overshooting the June 2014 deadline by almost two years, the BMC is expected to launch phase-1 of the project — with 110 beds, including a 10-bed medical intensive care unit ward — this month. Other facilities at the hospital are slated to be launched later this year.

Too little to offer
The hospital was to have 181 staffers, including a medical superintendent and a senior medical officer, but only 10 doctors have been allotted for the 110-bed facility, which includes an outpatient department, a 24-hour emergency ward, an X-ray department, a mortuary and a pharmacy.

It’s anybody’s guess that juggling the different wards will be an arduous task for the few doctors.

Besides, officials say, only one ambulance will be provided to the hospital, but no hearse van. While the hospital has claimed that it will have a pathology collection room, it is reportedly yet to get the necessary licences to start a blood bank — a requisite for any hospital to become operational, according FDA norms.

Its emergency ward, as per the response to the RTI application, will have only five beds. Three floors of the building are for residential purposes, two for under-training nursing staff with 30 rooms and one for resident doctors with around 15 rooms.

Colossal waste
Junnarkar, who is also the secretary of the city unit of the Congress, says the revamped hospital will be a waste of public funds if it refers patients elsewhere for surgeries.

“The BMC has built a plush multi-story building in the heart of Borivli, but when I asked how many beds have been reserved for each department, officials said that performing operations will not be possible in the building. Of what use is the hospital if patients with emergencies still have to go elsewhere?”

Junnarkar points out that relatives of the dead will be forced to shell out huge sums of money to hire private hearses.

“Even if we ignore the absence of an operation theatre, how will 20 doctors, with the help of two senior doctors, run a 110-bed facility 24x7?” he asks.

Mahendra Wadiwal, chief medical superintendent of BMC-run peripheral hospitals, and Sanjay Deshmukh, additional commissioner (health), BMC, were unavailable for comments.

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