Civic body had spent Rs 165 crore to construct three hospitals in Airoli, Nerul and Belapur and inaugurated them last August; it is, however, yet to procure medical equipment and recruit staff to make these facilities operational
It has been ten months since three new civic hospitals were inaugurated in Navi Mumbai, but these facilities are lying unused and gathering dust. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), which had inaugurated the three new hospitals in August last year, is yet to procure medical equipment and recruit staff to make them fully operational.
The 100-bed Nerul hospital continues to wait for equipment and staff
Because of the high the load on the civic hospital in Vashi, NMMC had constructed the three new hospitals in Airoli, Nerul and Belapur. At the time of their inauguration in the first week of August last year, the municipal authorities had claimed that they the hospitals would start functioning on a full-fledged basis within a span of four months.
However, more than twice as many months have passed by and there is still no sign of activity in these hospitals, apart from OPD services. The 100-bed hospitals at Nerul and Airoli and the 50-bed Belapur hospital are still awaiting staff and doctors to commence operations.
Officials from the civic medical department claimed that they are currently in the process of hiring qualified people for the posts. The process will take time, as around 700-750 staff would have to be hired to run these three hospitals. Currently, the corporation has three fully operational hospitals at Vashi, Koparkhairne and Turbhe.
Out of these three, Vashi has the highest capacity of 300 beds, while the other two have a capacity of 25 beds each, which is proving inadequate. The estimated cost for the construction of the new hospitals was approximately Rs 165 crore.
In September last year, NMMC had also inaugurated two hospital-on-wheels ambulances, known as the Floating Advance Casualty Complex (FACC), to provide on-board treatment to road accident victims across the satellite city.
However, the ambulances have been gathering dust at the civic headquarters in Belapur, as there are no takers for running the service. At the time of inaugurating the service, the civic body had claimed that it would bring the ambulances on road in 15 days.
However, the civic authorities now say that poor response to the tender is the reason behind the service not being operational. Despite tenders being floated thrice, only one bidder showed interest in the project.
The civic body has spent around Rs 64 lakh on these vehicles. Out of the two, one is a 12-metre long bus and the other a Traveller Ambulance. These ambulances are equipped with X-ray machines, ultrasonography machines, ventilators as well as basic medical equipment, including diagnostic equipment and medical monitors.
These ambulances were supposed to be parked along the Palm Beach Marg and Thane-Belapur road stretches, as accidents take place frequently on these routes.
When contacted, NMMC Commissioner Dinesh Waghmare, said, “The doctor and staff recruitment process is underway. Further, we are also in the process of purchasing furniture, medical and surgical equipment. We will try to make the hospitals fully operational at the earliest.”