Residents of Mumbais distant suburbs that have a crying need for better medical services have a glimmer of hope. The state government has plans to start at least two new hospitals each in the eastern and western suburbs of the city.
Minister for Public Health Suresh Shetty said several meetings have been held in this regard over the last year and locations identified with the help of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). I know there is concern that most big hospitals are in the island city of Mumbai. Over the last year,the state government has held meetings with the BMC and discussed what can be done about it. The government wants to start four hospitals in the suburbs of Mumbai, said Shetty.
Currently,the state government has one medical college (Grant Medical College) and four hospitals (JJ,Cama,GT and St George) attached. These are located in the island city. The BMC runs three medical colleges,also located in island city. The BMC has a network of 16 secondary care hospitals in the suburbs,which are proving to be insufficient to cater to the needs of the second-most populated district in the country. Citizens from the suburbs have to travel long distances to get specialty medical care.
Shetty said the government had identified four spots – two in eastern and two in western suburbs to start the new hospitals. One spot had been identified in Govandi. He said the hospitals will be built on PPP basis wherein private parties will be roped in to provide services in the government hospitals. Modalities of operating the hospitals will be worked out soon,he said.
The minister said after the change in government late last year,the discussions in this regard had halted but he will review it soon. I will discuss the matter with the Chief Minister and we will ensure that hospitals are opened in the suburbs, said Shetty.