COVID-19: How private hospitals are adding ICU beds in Mumbai

Updated: Jun 23, 2020, 07:12 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

As BMC ramps up measures to ensure adequate facilities, private hospitals have added 50 beds, with plans to add another 50 over the next week for COVID-19 patients

Pvt hospitals have started procuring more ICU beds. Pic/Shadab Khan
Pvt hospitals have started procuring more ICU beds. Pic/Shadab Khan

Apart from ramping up procurement, what is helping private hospitals in the city improve the count of ICU beds is the resumption of local trains, which has enabled more staff to reach hospitals and operationalise ICUs. The growing number of COVID-19 cases has made ICU indispensable for hospitals.

Several private hospitals in the city have started increasing the number of ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients. Within the next week, an additional 100 ICU beds will reflect in the civic body's live dashboard and will be allocated to patients needing critical care.

Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician with Bombay Hospital who was recently appointed as the chief coordinator for bed management at private hospitals by the civic chief, said that while some hospitals have already allocated additional beds in the last couple of days, others are in the process of doing so. "There was a requirement of beds and after a meeting, private hospitals have come forward to increase the number of ICU beds. The count of ICU beds has been increased by 50 and over the next week, another 50 will be added," he said. While the BMC earlier had access to 460 ICU beds in all private hospitals in the city, Dr Bhansali said that the count will now go up to 570.

The increase in ICU beds will reflect by the end of this week. File pic
The increase in ICU beds will reflect by the end of this week. File pic

Dr Bhansali said that while Bombay Hospital has added 16 ICU beds, Lilavati has added 13 and Nanavati has added 11. Other hospitals including Jaslok, Hinduja, Wockhardt, Surana, Kokilaben and Hiranandani hospitals are also in the process of getting additional ICU beds functional for COVID-19 patients.

After the streamlining the admission process where ward control rooms allocate beds to patients, Dr Bhansali said that the bed management system has improved significantly. "Earlier, only one per cent of ICU beds would be available. But now, at any given time, there are 5-10 per cent beds available. Patients are even given a choice of hospital depending on their convenience and most patients get either their first or second choice," he said.

Private hospitals had earlier stated that due to lack of public transport, a significant number of their staff were not able to report to duty. After the local trains resumed service recently, hospitals have seen an increase in attendance. Dr Bhansali said that at Bombay Hospital, due to the growing staff attendance, they are able to increase the bed capacity.

Ajaykumar Pande, vice president of Lilavati hospital, however, said that the local trains have been helpful, but only to an extent. "Since local trains are now functioning, the commuting has been resolved for some staff members. However, those who need to board a train from railway stations that are part of the slow track are not able to come. For that, we want to request the government to start a train for all stations only for health workers," he said. Lilavati Hospital increased its ICU bed count to 48 with 13 additional beds that became available from June 20.

A spokesperson from P D Hinduja hospital & MRC told mid-day, "We are adhering to and supporting all the norms issued by the BMC. The latest increments in the capacity of COVID-19 beds and COVID-19 ICU beds will be ready by the end of this week. While we had arranged buses for our staff coming from different areas. With trains having resumed, our employees are using those and we are seeing an increase in the number of people reporting to the hospital."

No. of beds to be added in private hospitals within a week

Total no. of beds BMC will have access to after the latest addition

New ICU beds at hospitals

. Bombay Hospital 16
. Lilavati Hospital 13
. Nanavati Hospital 11
. Jaslok Hospital 12
. Hinduja Hospital 10
. Wockhardt Hospital 10
. Hiranandani Hospital 9
. Kokilaben Hospital 10
. Surana Sethia Hospital 10

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