The Thane Civil Hospital, the largest tertiary care hospital where tribal and semi-rural population from Thane and Palghar are referred to, is set for a revamp. The hospital will be demolished to make way for a super-specialty hospital. For the new hospital building to be constructed, the patients will be moved to the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital in Thane.
The transfer of patients is expected in a few months. According to state officials, the ESIC commissioner has already approved the transfer of civil hospital patients to ESIC hospital in Gangadhar Nagar, Thane west. The state government will, however, have to make infrastructural arrangements for an operation theatre, intensive care unit, and basic diagnostic tests such as X-ray, CT scan and MRI at the ESIC hospital.
The 336-bed Thane Civil Hospital has been under fire for its rundown structure, facing frequent maintenance issues. While it has a neonatal intensive care unit, the 16 incubators have been insufficient to handle the huge number of admissions from rural regions lining the district.
According to civil surgeon Kempi Patil, the hospital will expand to a 576-bed facility with 14 specialties and eight super-specialties to include oncology, urology, nephrology, cardiology and neurology. “We are already providing haematology services for sickle cell and thalassemia patients. There is also a centre for free treatment of HIV and tuberculosis patients,” Patil said. The hospital has a newborn care unit which will be further upgraded to tackle the high admissions of neonatals from Jawahar and Mokhada regions that record high neonatal and malnutrition deaths.
The upgraded hospital will have a dedicated burns ward to treat burns patients. In Mumbai, currently Airoli-based National Burns Institute is the only hospital exclusively catering to burns patients. The dialysis centre for renal failure patients will also be expanded. Currently, the Thane Civil Hospital has only seven dialysis beds.
While the procedure of transferring patients has not yet begun, concerns have been raised over how the 100-bed ESIC hospital will cater to the huge patient load of the civil hospital for the coming five years while the redevelopment is underway.
The ESIC hospital functions only to 35-50 per cent of its capacity due to lack of doctors and health equipment. The Indian Express had reported on Parel’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial ESIC hospital which had only five patients admitted last month in its 330-bed hospital due to paucity of medical officers and diagnostic facilities.
“Our Thane hospital does not have X-ray or MRI facilities. There is no operation theatre or ICU. It acts as a primary treatment point of contact,” said Thane’s ESIC hospital medical superintendent Dr Shashikant Katkar. Government officials said arrangements for the transitional period will be made to run the civil hospital in the ESIC hospital and necessary equipment will be transferred.