The BMC on Tuesday proposed Rs 65 crore to upgrade Kasturba hospital, with 148 beds planned for an isolation facility to tackle infectious diseases. With the proposed new facility, Kasturba hospital is set to become the largest government isolation facility in the country. The move comes amid the outbreak of 2019-novel coronavirus strain in China.
BMC officials said several passengers from China, who were quarantined in Kasturba hospital, have expressed displeasure at the infrastructure and infection control mechanism.
Meanwhile, the civic body has also proposed Rs 2 crore to improve the existing isolation ward at the hospital. A Union health ministry team had advised that the existing facility be improved.
“We have amended our plan and now, 148 beds will be accommodated in a separate building,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani.
The new building will also reduce BMC’s dependence on private hospitals in case of an infectious disease outbreak. The building is set to follow international guidelines for quarantine, including negative pressure in isolation rooms, separate air conditioning and HEPA filters to prevent cross infection as well as separate cubicles for each patient.
In all, Rs 4260 crore has been allocated to the health department, a three per cent rise from previous year.
Further, the BMC plans to introduce three-year Diplomate National Board course in six peripheral hospitals in Mumbai to reduce burden from KEM, Sion, Nair and Dr R N Cooper hospitals.
Additionally, funds have been allocated to upgrade the infrastructure of Rajawadi hospital (Ghatkopar), Govandi Shatabdi hospital, RN Bhagwati hospital (Borivali) and MT Agrawal hospital (Mulund), as well as building new hostels for students and doctors.
Meanwhile, Municipal Commisioner Praveen Pardeshi presented a budget estimate of Rs. 2944.59 crore for primary education for 2020-21 — an increase of Rs 211 crore from last year.
To introduce new boards in civic schools, the BMC has proposed to start schools affiliated to ICSE, CBSE and other boards in the coming academic year. On a pilot basis, ICSE board will be introduced in a Dadar school while CBSE board will be introduced in a school at Jogeshwari. Aiming to increase the number of girl students in civic schools, BMC has also proposed to continue with the daily allowance scheme for girl students.
For infrastructure upgrade, a provision of Rs 346 crore has been made in the budget for the repair and reconstruction of school buildings. The civic body will continue with old schemes like virtual and digital classrooms as well as nutritious food for students. Digital telescopes will also be installed in BMC schools.
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