Covid-19: Private hospitals struggle to stay operational

Diksha Munjal Mumbai | Updated on April 01, 2020

File photo   -  PTI

The staff in private hospitals are pulling out all stops to provide vital services amid the nation-wide lockdown imposed to fight Covid19.

On a normal weekday, patients queue up outside the outpatient departments of Saifee Hospital in the Charni Road of south Mumbai. They fix appointments days in advance to consult the speciality doctors visiting the hospital. However, after the lockdown was imposed , the hospital corridors are empty. The hospital is pulling every muscle to keep emergency services up and running.

OPD functions suspended

“Some of the nursing staff and resident doctors have started staying in the hospital overnight, pulling double shifts, since there is a shortage of staff due to the suspension of transport services. The hospital has also arranged alternative bus services to pick up and drop staff who live in the suburbs of the city. OPD functions have been suspended and non-resident doctors are available on call. The staff is somehow managing to keep the casualty department fully operational,” said Junaid Shaikh, an administration staff of Saifee Hospital, who stays near the hospital and is using his vehicle to come to work daily.

While designated government hospitals deal with Covid-19 patients, private hospitals in the city are finding ways to ensure there is adequate staff to deal with emergency situations.

Om Navjeevan Hospital, in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, has developed a vehicle pooling system to transport the medical staff. “Doctors who come in their cars coordinate and pick up the nurses and ward boys living in the same area. I stay about 4 km from the hospital and as there is no means of transport, the ward boy residing in my locality brings me on his two-wheeler. Many staff members with two-wheelers make several tripsto bring as many staffers as possible,” Shital Kate, a nurse in her thirties, who has been with the hospital for nine years, told BusinessLine.

Some hospitals in the city are making efficient use of the available resources to keep the hospital staffed. “We use ambulances to pick up nurses, ward boys, cleaning staff and others living in Ghatkopar and Chembur, said Nisha Joglekar, a clerical staff at Parakh hospital in Ghatkopar

“The hospital has made food and accommodation arrangements for resident doctors, nurses and cleaning staff. We are managing to run our emergency department with the help of these members,” said 62-year-old Raghu Makwana, a telephone operator at Bhatia hospital in Tardeo.

Published on April 01, 2020

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