More hospital beds for suburbs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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More hospital beds for suburbs

Some of the city's suburbs that face an acute shortage of hospital beds may get some relief by the end of this year. Private hospitals are expected to add at least 510 beds to their existing capacity in the coming months.

mumbai Updated: Apr 07, 2010 01:24 IST
Raghav Rao

Some of the city's suburbs that face an acute shortage of hospital beds may get some relief by the end of this year. Private hospitals are expected to add at least 510 beds to their existing capacity in the coming months.

By April end, the 300-bed Seven Hill Hospital in Marol will become functional.

“We plan to operate with 300 beds initially and then add more as the demand increases. The hospital has a total capacity of 1,500 beds and will definitely help improve healthcare facilities in the area. There are not many hospitals here,” said Dr Sanjay Sharma, vice-president of hospital services development.

Plans to expand the Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai are also close to completion.

The hospital will increase its capacity to 200 beds from the existing 130 and also introduce services like radiation oncology and a bone marrow transplant centre, physical rehabilitation centre, eye centre and dermocosmotology centre by October.

“The hospital runs full throughout the year. Instead of turning people away, we chose to expand. Any hospital in the city has to keep expanding to cater to the needs of the rising population,” said Dr Sujit Chatterjee, CEO of the hospital.

Hinduja Hospital at Mahim is also expected to open a 140-bed unit in Khar by October. However, the hospital management does not expect it to decrease the load on the existing facility in Mahim, which has an approximate waiting period of three days.

Fortis Hospital in Mulund is the only one in the eastern suburb that has any plans of expansion. The hospital already has 222 functional beds and plans to increase the number based on the occupancy levels.

However, health activists feel the increased bed strength is not enough to cater to the growing demand in the suburbs because of an uneven distribution of hospitals. The northern and eastern suburbs have an extremely skewed ratio of population per hospital bed.

“Each suburb needs at least one 200 bed hospital. The city on the whole has enough hospital beds. However, most of these are located in south Mumbai while most of the people live in the suburbs," said Dr Vivek Desai of HOSMAC, a hospital consultancy group.

“Until this proportion is balanced, other initiatives to improve health in the city will not have the desired effect,” he said. The ideal ratio is 550 people for each hospital bed, he added.