A swank multi-storied building with 520 beds, state-of-the-art operation theatres, a dedicated trauma care unit, well-equipped intensive care unit and blood bank.
This is how Shatabdi Hospital at Govandi was supposed to shape up as per the proposal sanctioned by the civic body last year. But the project was put on hold due to BMC’s cash crunch.
Now, a blueprint of the proposed building is just hanging on the wall of the Chief Medical Officer’s office.
The 210-bed hospital, which was built in 1982 to cater to five lakh people, is the only public hospital for the 10 lakh-plus residents of Govandi, Deonar, Mankhurd and Trombay.
The doctors at Shatabdi try their best to manage with the limited facilities but patients often end up suffering because of the inadequacies.
Walk into any ward at the hospital and you will know why.
Many cots are broken; staffers have put bricks under the legs to keep them steady.
These days, the 10-bed Intensive Care Unit is used as a ward for fever and gastroenteritis patients who couldn’t be accommodated in the regular ward, as it is not equipped to deal with serious cases.
The ICU monitors, which keep a check on patient’s vital organs, got damaged last year. The BMC has sanctioned purchase of new monitors but they haven’t arrived yet, according to hospital sources.
The ICU has one ventilator but no intensivist to operate it. There is no blood bank either so all emergency cases and complicated surgeries are referred to Sion or Rajawadi Hospital. The number of posts for doctors has also not been increased in accordance with the growing population.
“The hospital is like a huge 9-to-5 dispensary because it has facilities only for basic treatment,” said Nazeer Sayyed, an office peon who lives in Rafi Nagar slum.
Sayyed and many other residents of the densely populated area, prefer to go to private practitioners despite the cost.
“Shatabdi has a long history of inefficiency so people don’t have faith in the hospital,” said local activist Leena Joshi. “The BMC should upgrade the facilities soon and maintain them to make sure that the poor in the area have a public hospital to rely upon.”