BMC to rope in private hospitals and its senior doctors to prop jumbo Covid-19 facilities | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: In a bid to boost the quality of care in its jumbo Covid-19 facilities, the BMC will tie up with nearby private hospitals and send superspecialists from its medical schools to help out.
The new arrangement will be ready to be rolled out within a few days, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said on Monday.
Kakani further said senior doctors from civic hospitals as well as those from private hospitals will be appointed as advisors for the jumbo facilities.
“This will be on a pro bono basis. The BMC will request private doctors from major hospitals to share their expertise and help with the treatment protocol and administration of medicines at the jumbo facilities,” he said.
The BMC has six jumbo facilities with 5,500 beds, including 627 ICU beds built on grounds across the city. On September 6, the BMC dashboard said 2,322 beds, including 181 ICU beds, were occupied.
Despite the availability of 400-plus ICU beds in these facilities, there have been complaints from patients and their relatives about the paucity of ICU beds in Mumbai. BMC officials admitted that people are reluctant to go to jumbo facilities, especially for ICU care. A review of Covid deaths by the BMC in the first fortnight of August had revealed that the Bandra-Kurla Complex jumbo unit had a 37% ICU death rate over a three-week period.
Hence, at a high-level meeting on Monday, it was decided the BMC must tie up with private hospitals near its jumbo facilities to improve patient care.
While two of these facilities -the one on the BKC grounds in Bandra and the other at the Cidco facility in Dahisar-are managed by private outfits, the other four are directly under the BMC’s care. “Doctors from our major hospitals (KEM, Sion and Nair) already go to these facilities, but now we will ensure better coordination,” said a senior BMC official.
Kakani said, “It is always good to have an expert advice on the treatment protocol and administration of medicines. The system will be in place in the next two to three days.”
He, though, added that no private hospital would be coerced to help out. The BMC is preparing a list of private hospitals located near jumbo facilities and will approach each of them for voluntary help.
“There will be no coercion. Senior doctors from both the BMC and private hospitals do not have to visit the facilities, they are only required to be on call,” he said. Similarly, BMC doctors will offer their expertise to private hospitals, he said.
In a press release on Monday, BMC commissioner I S Chahal had said 250 more ICU beds would be added to the jumbo facilities in the coming days. He has warned that the number of cases are likely to go up because the BMC has stepped up its testing facilities.

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