Mumbai: Short-bedded state, civic-run hospitals treat patients on floor

Mumbai: Even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has increased the health budget by 15 per cent from Rs3,601 crore to Rs 4,151 crore in 2019-20, patients in most of the state- and civic-run hospitals are made to sleep on the floor and get treatment.

The doctors attending to the patients on the floors cite shortage of infrastructure to accommodate these ‘extra’ patients. There has been a 20 per cent rise in influenza cases this monsoon as compared to the corresponding period last year. The situation is such that most city and suburb hospitals are facing an acute shortage of beds.

“During the monsoon, state and civic-run hospitals face more than 100 per cent occupancy. Bed shortage due to more patients suffering from fever and water-borne diseases getting admitted is normal,” said a senior doctor.

According to the data provided by the BMC’s public health department, 1,094 cases of gastrointestinal infections, 610 cases of malaria, 137 of H1N1, 77 of leptospirosis and 42 cases of dengue have been reported in BMC hospitals from July 1 to August 13.

Senior doctors said OPDs have been witnessing a huge number of patients every week. The beds, too, are full and a floor-bed between two hospital beds are installed for later admission.

“As there are more patients than the provided beds in each ward, they have been treated on the bed-sheet covered floor. As and when a bed gets vacant, it is allotted to the patient in need of a bed,” said a senior doctor of the JJ Hospital.

Dr Padmaja Keskar, the BMC executive health officer, said while viral infection cases usually spike in July-August, this year has seen an unprecedented trend.

“Even civic hospitals are full. Patients have been insisting on hospitalisation owing to the fear of dengue and H1N1. Doctors, too, agree to admit them because they cannot risk the life of a patient, who may be suffering from a life-threatening disease,” Keskar said.

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