The Maharashtra government had recently sanctioned Rs 60 crore for infrastructure improvement of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa in Thane, which was in the news for 18 deaths in a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday, a senior official said.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Thane Municipal Corporation chief Abhijit Bangar said the bed capacity of the hospital will be doubled from 500 to 1,000, while good hostel facilities will be provided for resident doctors.
The work of shifting Rajiv Gandhi Medical College from the premises of the Kalwa hospital is underway and infrastructure improvement plan will be implemented within the next 10 months, Bangar informed.
In the 2022-23 Thane Municipal Corporation budget, a sum of Rs 317.20 crore was earmarked for health, of which Rs 10 crore was for improving the hospital at Kalwa and the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College on its premises, he said.
Thane BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar, who met Bangar on Monday, said there was immediate need for a plan to rejuvenate the facility since lot of people from the district and Palghar come there for treatment.
He said the load at the hospital increases during the monsoon due to rise in rain-related ailments in the region.
There was also need to convert the COVID facility at the Parking Plaza here to a general hospital to provide relief to patients, Kelkar said.
Social worker Taki Choulkar, speaking about the deaths, said the condition of the hospital was dire and required urgent corrective steps.
The pharmacy at the hospital has been shut for the past 10 years due to some issues with tendering and also a fraud that allegedly took place earlier, he claimed.
A senior civic doctor, on condition of anonymity, said the hospital does not have a fulltime dean, and the mismanagement had caused distress to poor patients who come to the facility from several parts of the district.
A former dean of the hospital, in a social media message, claimed the facility has not had a fulltime head since she left in 2020 and seven officials have held the post as additional charge, which does not help matters.
Meanwhile, some social workers claimed there was a shortage of medical oxygen at the facility and pointed out that 13 deaths took place in the ICU.
The hospital management has so far denied any shortage of oxygen.
These social workers also pointed out that there is only one driver for three ambulances in the hospital. The facility does not have a cardiac ambulance, they added.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)