In order to bridge the gap between the number of patients and hospital beds available in the western suburbs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is upgrading four of its key hospitals over the next two years at a cost of Rs 913 crore.
Bhagwati Hospital, Cooper Hospital, Shatabdi Hospital and a trauma centre at Jogeshwari will get 627, 70, 180 and 266 new beds respectively.
In the Mumbai First Charter Hindustan Times submitted to the state government on June 15, there was a demand for more hospital beds and a makeover of the public health system.
The charter asked for the speedy release of funds to the BMC to revive hospital upgrades and expansion projects put on hold for at least a year.
The city has one hospital bed for 3,000 Mumbaiites, instead of 550, the World Health Organisation norm.
Bhagwati’s upgrade will be the first to be taken up. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray will lay the foundation stone on Saturday.
The Bhagwati project will be done phase-wise.
In the first phase, 300 beds will be added.
Within five years, the 373-bed hospital will be converted into a swank, 25-storey 1,000-bed health hub at a cost of Rs 300 crore.
According to the 2001 census, more than 44 per cent of the city’s population lives in the western suburbs, ie, 63 lakh of Mumbai’s 1.4 crore residents.
Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, said: “While the population in the suburbs has grown significantly, the healthcare network has not been able to keep pace with it. We are trying to upgrade the healthcare network in the suburbs by 2012.”