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Hospital’s paediatric ward or playschool? Here, Mumbai children get swings, cartoons

Sir JJ Hospital said admissions have increased because parents who would have taken their children to private hospitals are now admitting them to bright and cheery rooms

mumbai Updated: Aug 11, 2017 09:47 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Hospitals,paediatric wards
The colourful paediatric ward of GT Hospital.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)

Children at Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital (GT), Dhobi Talao and Sir Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy (JJ) Hospital, Byculla, no longer have to stare at stark white walls while they recover from illnesses. They can now see colourful sketches of their favourite cartoons on walls, play on small swings installed in the room and get stationery to draw. The paediatric wards at these government-run hospitals look more like rooms at a playschool.

After the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, decided to redesign their rooms for their patients with sketches of cartoon characters in 2013, other public hospitals are following the trend to add some colour to the paediatric wards.

Sir JJ Hospital said admissions have increased because parents who would have normally taken their children to private hospitals are now admitting them in the bright and cheery rooms. “Around 100 more patients were admitted in the children’s ward at JJ Hospital in the first month after it was redesigned,” said Tatyarao Lahane, dean, Grant Medical College and Sir J J Group of Hospitals.

Doctors said the revamped rooms have not only increased the number of patients admitted, but have also reduced their recovery period. While in hospital, children now make sketches of characters like Tarzan, Chota Bheem and Bal Ganesha, which are pasted on the wall. “Since patients take less time to recover, more beds are available for new patients,” said a doctor.

Child counsellors agreed that a more lively environment can help heal patients faster. “There are evidences to prove that a lively atmosphere in hospitals helps patients recover faster. There are three elements when it comes to ambience for patients, one of which is familiarity like cartoon themes in these wards,” said Dr Vani Kulhalli, a psychiatrist.

The idea behind the concept is to distract patients from their pain and confinement and make them feel at home. The staff of these hospitals also went on to add that the family members of these patients feel relaxed and interact better with them because they feel that their children are better taken care of. “I feel that my child is in a better place. There are drawings and toys and she is recovering fast,” said mother of a six-year-old who has been admitted at Sir J J Hospital after she suffered from persistent fever.

“The reason why government hospitals require a play area in paediatric wards is because these patients usually travel long distances to come here and the parents usually have other kids too to look after. So, if they have a facility where the other kid is occupied, the patient can be well taken care of,” said Nitin Vishnu Kadam, who was involved in designing these wards.

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 09:47 IST