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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Possible third wave of Covid: Three new hospitals proposed in Vadodara

Rao said the state government has a budget provision of Rs 4 crore for the facility at Karelibaug for the period 2020-21 to 2021-22 and another Rs 4.10 crore for the one at Leprosy Ground for the period 2014-15 to 2019-20.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
May 17, 2021 4:42:48 am
Hospital staff of SSG hospital in Vadodara.(Express photo by Bhupendra Rana)

In preparation for a possible third wave of Covid-19, the Vadodara district administration has proposed to construct three new hospitals with a total capacity of 3,400 beds using pre-engineered material in the next three months.

On Sunday, Officer on Special Duty Vinod Rao submitted a proposal to the Principal Secretary of the Gujarat Health Department, following endorsement by the elected representatives of Vadodara and Cabinet Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, who joined Rao for a meeting.

Estimated at a total cost of Rs 211.14 crore, the proposals include a 1,200-bed multispecialty hospital at the Leprosy Ground on Ajwa Road in Vadodara at Rs 72.48 crore, a 1,200-bed infectious diseases hospital in Karelibaug at Rs 66.18 crore and a 1,000-bed facility at emergency medicine department of GMERS-run Gotri Medical College at a cost of Rs 72.48 crore.

Rao said the state government has a budget provision of Rs 4 crore for the facility at Karelibaug for the period 2020-21 to 2021-22 and another Rs 4.10 crore for the one at Leprosy Ground for the period 2014-15 to 2019-20.

Rao is hopeful that even if the government partially approves the budget, the facilities would be ready over the next four months, with Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants at each facility to make them self-sufficient on oxygen supply.

“The provision for the construction of two structures was already there… I have submitted the Master Plan for Vadodara, which incorporates a total of 16,000 beds, including 6,000 government free beds and 10,000 beds in private hospitals. The proposed layout and design of these buildings are of ground plus two levels using pre-engineered construction technology… Even if the proposal is partially approved, it will go a long way in strengthening our fight against Covid-19 and create a permanent asset to the city.”

With Vadodara serving a high number of patients from outside the district, the augmentation of beds is a top priority for the administration. Rao said, “We are seeing an increase in the number of patients who come from outside Vadodara and from other states… Through constant efforts, we expanded the hospital bed capacity from 8,000 in March to over 14,000 in May. We anticipate a continued trend of more patients from outside Vadodara.” At present, Vadodara has 14,160 beds for Covid-19 treatment of which 2,600 are free government beds.

“The free-bed capacity will increase to 6,000 as we are proposing three health facilities… Today, in the meeting chaired by Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, this proposal was submitted for discussion. Minister Yogesh Patel, Mayor Keyur Rokadia, MP Ranjan Bhatt, and all MLAs and other dignitaries unanimously endorsed the Master Plan and urged the Minister to help in approvals… After the endorsement, a proposal was formally signed and sent by me to the Principal Secretary, Health Department, Government of Gujarat,” Rao said.

Vadodara has also set up a high-power Oxygen Management Committee consisting of members from IOCL, ONGC, and Gujarat Refinery, which will advise and recommend the best measures to set up new PSA oxygen plants to make all the major hospitals self-reliant for their oxygen supply.

“These new oxygen plants are being planned to be set up with the CSR funding and through private players. A nodal officer has been appointed for the same,” Rao said, adding that for the new facilities, recruitment of full-time doctors, nursing staff and paramedical staff will be taken up on priority basis.

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