With public hospitals in Mumbai overflowing with patients, the state government on Wednesday asked the Railways and the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) to open up the out patient departments in their hospitals to patients from the neighbourhood.
On Wednesday, Chief Ashok Chavan held a meeting at Mantralaya to discuss spurt of malaria cases.
The state has added more ICU beds at JJ Hospital in Byculla and Cama Hospital near CST for malaria patients who develop serious complications.
“We have added five more ICU beds to the existing 110 at JJ Hospital. In Cama Hospital, we have made arrangements for two paediatric ICU beds,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director DMER.
More than 3,700 people were hospitalised with malaria this July. In last four days, 774 patients have been hospitalised.
The unprecedented rise in malaria cases has led to overburdening of civic hospitals, which are already struggling to cater to Mumbai’s burgeoning population. Despite putting mats on floors or keeping two patients on one cot, the hospitals are finding it difficult to accommodate patients.
There is only one public hospital bed for every 3,000 Mumbaiites. The ideal ratio is one bed per 550 population, according to the WHO norms.
KEM has started erecting a temporary shed across 5,000 sq ft portion of the Parel campus for malaria patients who can’t be accommodated in the wards.
The plot was vacant as the Resident Medical Officers’ hostel, which used to stand at this spot, had been demolished for redevelopment.
“The shed should be ready by Thursday. We will be able to accommodate 100 patients in this shed,” said KEM Dean Dr Sanjay Oak, adding that only patients with uncomplicated malaria would be treated.
Six malaria patients are admitted to the ICU of KEM. Since all 25 beds in the unit are occupied, doctors sometimes have to keep even malaria patients, who are serious, in the ward. “When such a situation arises, we move the equipment to the ward and treat him/her there,” said Dr Oak.