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Volunteers of a group in Mumbai launch website to help non-Covid patients find hospital beds

By Yesha Kotak, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 29, 2020 11:52 PM IST

Even as the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in the city is on war footing, non-Covid patients are finding it difficult to find hospital beds. In a bid to tackle the problem, not-for-profit group Project Mumbai collaborated with the civic body to launch a website to help patients suffering from health problems other than coronavirus to find a bed at a hospital near them.

Project Mumbai’s website currently lists 46 hospitals across the city, with details of the facilities (paediatric, neurology, oncology, orthopaedic and dialysis) provided by them as well as the availability of beds there. The list is updated twice a day.

Shishir Joshi, the founder of group, said there are 25 volunteers working with him, and the list is updated twice daily. “While most of the hospitals are currently occupied by Covid patients, other patients don’t know how and whom to approach in cases of other medical emergencies. So we decided to get a list of hospitals from BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] which can cater to other patients and contacted them. Every volunteer is assigned with three hospitals and they remain in touch with the officials of the hospital,” said Joshi. He said they were provided with a list of around 75 hospitals by BMC, of which 46 agreed to be a part of the initiative. “The list will be updated if more medical institutions reach out to us. We provided our contact details to them. It is a completely free service,” Joshi added.

A fellowship student with BMC, who helped Project Mumbai with the information, said it was a joint initiative of fellows working for government organisations and the group.

“A friend’s mother passed away after she failed to get timely medical help because hospitals don’t accept patients without Covid test. That’s when some of us, who are working as fellows for the government, informed BMC and provided Project Mumbai with the information of these hospitals,” said an associate working with BMC. He added that there are plans to provide this information on BMC’s Covid helpline 1916 in the coming days, once the number of queries related to coronavirus is brought under control. “We are swarmed with Covid-related queries on the helpline. So if Project Mumbai is able to reach out to non-Covid patients , then it is a welcome step,” said a fellow.

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