Mumbai: Even six months after Rs 28.8 cr revamp, BMC hospital treats just 5 patients a day

Updated: 29 December, 2016 08:47 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty |

An RTI application has revealed that six months after the BMC spent Rs 28.88 crore on the renovation of Bhagwati hospital, the 110-bed multi-superspeciality medical institution remains practically empty

Rs 28.88 crore was spent to revamp this 110-bed building alone
Rs 28.88 crore was spent to revamp this 110-bed building alone

When the BMC spent Rs 28.88 crore on the renovation of Bhagwati hospital, officials promised a multi-superspeciality hospital that would relieve the load on major hospitals in the city. Six months on, it turns out that all that money was spent on a 110-bed hospital that treats just 4-5 patients a day.

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

Six months on, mid-day found most of the beds vacant
Six months on, mid-day found most of the beds vacant

'Shocking waste'
An RTI query has revealed that between June 27 and November 18, the hospital admitted only 654 patients. This comes up to less than five people per day, even though the facility has 110 beds (50 in male wards, 50 in female wards and 10 in the MICU). When mid-day visited the hospital on Monday afternoon, there was only one patient admitted in the female ward, while five were admitted in the male wards.

In the meanwhile, major hospitals like KEM, Sion, Cooper and Nair are reeling under pressure. “We receive around 200-300 indoor patients every day and it becomes very hectic for us. Most of the patients get referred to us from peripheral hospitals. There is a need for more multi-superspeciality hospitals to come up. It is shocking that Bhagwati hospital is wasting so many precious beds every day while we struggle,” said a senior doctor from KEM’s emergency medicine department.

Staff crunch
What’s more, the hospital is running on a 60% staff shortage, with many senior positions like chief medical officer, senior medical officer, medical officer, registrar lying vacant.

In 2013, when the hospital was demolished, all staffers were shifted to Kandivli’s Ambedkar Hospital, and now they don’t want to return. “Bhagwati hospital was opened in haste to woo voters for the upcoming BMC elections. The lazy BMC staff do not want to return as they have less work at Ambedkar hospital, which is operating with double strength. For example, running a department with 14 people means each person will have to do night duty every 14 days, whereas when you run the department with seven people, there is night duty once a week,” said Chetan Kothari, who had filed the RTI query in June.

In addition, the so-called multi-speciality hospital doesn’t even have ventilators or a casualty department. Only medical and emergency medical services are available. Even the blood bank is without a pathologist, which is violation of FDA norms.

In fact, the hospital doesn’t even have the infrastructure to conduct HIV testing of patients.

“In case of difficulty, they take help of pathologists from Bhagwati blood bank and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital,” reads the hospital’s reply to the RTI application.

Hospital says
The hospital management claimed that the building visited by mid-day was built as a nursing training centre that is supposed to provide only medical services, and the rest of the facilities would come up in the next phase of the renovation. “This building is meant to provide only medical services. There will be an adjacent building that will have the capacity of 800 beds with all the facilities. This is just the first phase,” said Dr Pimple, dean of Bhagwati hospital.

Total number of senior posts in the hospital

Senior posts still lying vacant

First Published: 29 December, 2016 07:00 IST

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