New BMC hospitals in Mumbai not fully open yet

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 - 8:07am IST | Agency: DNA
Emergency units in multi-crore facilities remain locked.

Incessant delays in fully starting already inaugurated civic hospitals in the western suburbs are holding up health care facilities for up to 15 lakh people. While no stone was left unturned in cutting the red ribbon at the trauma care hospital in Jogeshwari and RN Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle, those raring to visit them for emergency care have been left high and dry.

dna found a majority of departments either locked or non-functional in these hospitals. Built at a cost of Rs125 crore and inaugurated way back in October, Hinduhridayasamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Hospital, BMC’s only trauma care facility, is set up to treat head injuries and accident cases. However, all intensive care units there are shut.

“Emergency cases aren’t being tended to. The four ICUs have not started,” said a doctor. An even bigger cause for concern is that the MRI, CT scan and sonography units in the hospital too have not started. Of the 18 wards spread over 13 floors, barely seven are functional. Burns wards, labour wards and antenatal and postnatal care wards are shut.

“While the outpatient department works from 8am to 11.30am and planned operations for general surgery and orthopaedics are taking place, emergency cases are being ferried to Sion hospital,” said another doctor.

Authorities assured that by January 21 all wards will be fully operational. “Things are being put into place,” said Dr Pramod Nagarkar, superintendent of the trauma care.

A few kilometres from Jogeshwari, it’s a similar story at the BMC-run RN Cooper Hospital. The Rs250-crore set-up was inaugurated in November by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, but it’s yet to begin functioning fully.

The casualty, trauma operation theatre and intensive care units have yet not been shifted to the new building. MRI and CT scan facilities are ever elusive as BMC health officials have not pegged a date for starting the units. “While RN Cooper Hospital is being portrayed as a super-specialty facility, neurosurgery, kidney dialysis and cardiac surgery units have not yet started,” said a senior employee at the hospital.

“Also, a makeshift psychiatry ward at the VN Desai Hospital in Santa Cruz and a gynaecology unit at Oshiwara Hospital have not been integrated back.”

“It will take a month to fully start the refurbished hospital. About 70% of shifting is complete,” said Dr Shashikant Wadekar, medical superintendent at Cooper hospital.

Health care in limbo

The 14-storeyed and 304-bedded trauma care centre, built at Rs125 crore in Jogeshwari, Hinduhridayasamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Hospital was inaugurated on October 21

The refurbished six-storeyed and 684-bedded RN Cooper Hospital, built at Rs250 crore in Vile Parle, was inaugurated on November 30

Pegged as multi-crore projects, the hospitals lack trauma, medical, neonatal and surgical intensive care facilities.

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