MUMBAI: In what would be a unique arrangement, the state government plans to hand over one of the floors in SevenHills Hospital, Marol, to private hospitals to set up and run an isolation facility. In a related development, public health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday confirmed that the state has allowed private hospitals to admit and treat Covid-19 patients.
TOI has learned that civic and state officials are in talks with two leading private hospitals to set up a well-equipped isolation facility on the Marol hospital’s third floor, where a 40-bed ICU currently exists. A source said the ICU may be converted into an isolation facility and more beds will be added to it. Two south Mumbai hospitals are likely to jointly run the facility by dividing the beds between them. “Essentially, we will be running the facility and providing the manpower. Currently, the quarantine facility started by BMC is only to observe patients, there is nothing much to actively treat them,” said a management official of one of the hospitals.
Some private hospitals wary of state government move
As per the new protocol, BMC has started screening all travellers, who are then sent to SevenHills Hospital for a risk profile evaluation. Besides Category A travellers (with symptoms) who were tested, the civic body has also begun testing those with no symptoms but belonging to a high-risk community. As on Tuesday, every patient who had symptoms and required admission had to be sent to Kasturba Hospital. “An isolation facility in SevenHills where patients can be treated will ease that burden,” said the management official. Around 120 patients are currently undergoing treatment in Kasturba.
A discussion took place in Tuesday’s state cabinet meeting on allowing private hospitals to take one floor each in SevenHills hospital. BMC sources said facilities like Bombay Hospital have said they can set aside a few beds.
However, other private hospitals were apprehensive about whether Covid-19 patients can be treated with others. “Coronavirus patients can only be admitted in a specific kind of negative pressure room. At our hospital, we do not have that kind of facility, and we are not an infectious disease hospital. We are, however, in process of developing one or two such beds to support this initiative on an urgent basis,” said Dr Tarang Gianchandani, CEO of Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital. BMC’s Dr Daksha Shah said Fortis Hospital in Mulund too has started a 15-bed isolation facility.
BMC officials have in the last month surveyed around 5- 7 hospitals to look at their preparedness. “There is also the issue of who will pay for treatment if patients were to go there. Fortis, for instance, is a paying facility. At Seven-Hills, however, patients don’t have to pay for their treatment,” officials said.-Times Of India