Coronavirus outbreak: Dialysis centre puts itself at risk to save 128

Updated: Apr 09, 2020, 07:19 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Jogeshwari facility hires new staff, to resume work after intervention from local leaders

Millat Dialysis Centre in Jogeshwari West has started operating again after mid-day's report about kidney disease patients left in the lurch. The nursing home, which also runs a dialysis centre, was shut after a woman staffer tested positive last week.

The area's Guardian Minster Aslam Shaikh spoke to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other officers from the concerned department and got the centre reopened.

"We were helpless. We first got our 40 staff members tested and quarantined them. All have tested negative. Then we sanitised the dialysis centre, including the machines, hired new nurses and technicians and asked the health department to let us reopen, but they refused," said a member of the trust that runs the hospital and dialysis centre.

The centre has 252 kidney disease patients registered for dialysis
The centre has 252 kidney disease patients registered for dialysis

In all, the centre serves around 252 patients on a rotational basis at a discounted cost. On any given day, 128 patients get their dialysis done. On the day the hospital's doors closed, 128 patients were waiting for their dialysis.

"We referred patients to labs to get tested for COVID-19. Those who could afford got themselves tested. For around 70 patients, the trust has borne the expenses," the trust's member said. Apart from Shaikh, other politicians, including Mayor Kishori Pednekar, helped reopen the centre. The K West ward office allowed the centre to reopen on the condition that they follow the Standard Operation Procedure amid the pandemic.

"After it resumed services on Wednesday morning, the dialysis centre conducted the dialysis of 18 patients who have tested negative for COVID-19. One patient has tested positive," said a trustee Siddique Jaan Mohammed Siddique. The trust said that it is grateful to authorities for letting them resume services and said that qualified technicians capable of working at a dialysis centre may approach the hospital for employment.

Civic authorities allowed the reopening on the condition that if any patient tests positive for COVID-19 after visiting the centre, it would be held responsible and would face action. Former local corporator, Changez Multani said, "I would like to ask the health department that if a dialysis patient contracts Coronavirus at a government or private hospital, will that hospital take responsibility of the patient?"

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