BMC Budget 2018: Rs 197 crore allotted to infrastructure-starved hospitals

Updated: Feb 03, 2018, 12:24 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

BMC allocates Rs 197 crore for transforming the infrastructure-starved hospitals in a bid to reduce burden on major hospitals

As per BMC statistics, peripheral hospitals refer over 40 per cent of the patients who approach major hospitals, like KEM hospital. Representation pic
As per BMC statistics, peripheral hospitals refer over 40 per cent of the patients who approach major hospitals, like KEM hospital. Representation pic

The BMC has given its hospitals some happy pills in this year's budget. For starters, it has allocated R197 crore for transforming infrastructure-starved peripheral hospitals during 2018-19. In another major development, 230 ICU ventilators have been approved, which would decrease the pressure on emergency care services. Moreover, the health budget has been hiked by Rs 325 crore this year to amount to Rs 3,636.82 crore for 2018-19.

What is a peripheral hospital?
A peripheral hospital is a multi-specialty hospital that can cater to an array of health conditions in an emergency on a local level, but considering the lack of infrastructure, all of their patients are referred to major hospitals. Mumbai has 16 peripheral hospitals and four major hospitals - KEM, Sion, Cooper and Nair. Despite this, as per BMC statistics, over 40 per cent of the patients approaching major hospitals are referred from peripheral hospitals. To address the issue, BMC has sanctioned a budget of R197 crore to increase the bed strength in these hospitals by 773 beds.

Suggesting for years
Compared to last year, BMC has increased the budget by 10 per cent for 2018-19. Dr Avinash Supe, medical director and dean of the King Edward Memorial Hospital, said, "The allocation is done on the basis of the hospital's requirement; if we need more equipment, we will add it to the requirement list later."

"We have been suggesting this for years, as peripheral hospitals are at the very root of the city's healthcare system. Due to a lack of facilities, such hospitals fail to provide proper treatment to patients, indirectly putting pressure on bigger hospitals," said Dr Ravikanth Singh, a health activist.

Another major declaration is procurement of 230 ICU ventilators worth R16 crore. mid-day has reported how civic hospitals across the city suffer from lack of ventilators. "People across Maharashtra and neighbouring states visit Mumbai for treatment due to the advanced health facilities. Thus, it has become inevitable to increase the number of ICU ventilators to save lives," said Dr Rita Salve, emergency services expert.

Highlights for health

  • Procurement of 230 ICU-ventilator beds worth Rs 16 crore to attend emergency cases
  • Rs 1,000 crore multi-phase redevelopment plan for Sion hospital to convert it to an 1,800-bed tertiary care facility
  • 274 posts of postgraduate medical officers will also be filled at these hospitals to improve patient-doctor ratio
  • Rs 4 crore allotted for construction of 10-storey building for cancer treatment at Nair hospital
  • An early intervention centre to be set up for special children at Nagpada, to treat congenital defects and development delays

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