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Times of India
11 November 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Mumbai, India

In order to decongest three civic tertiary care hospitals–KEM, Sion and Nair, which are forever teeming with patients, the BMC has started making some of their services available at peripheral hospitals. Besides cutting down on patient inflow from distant places, this is also supposed to ensure optimum utilization of infrastructure available at the peripheral hospitals.

The city’s largest tertiary care hospital– KEM– has tied up with Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi where the former has started running OPDs as well as performing surgeries. In fact, surgeons from KEM Hospital have already performed three surgeries at Shatabdi Hospital. Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli has tied up with BYL Nair Hospital, whereas Mulund’s Veer Savarkar Hospital has been linked to Sion hospital.

Director of medical education Dr Sanjay Oak said that the civic corporation’s primary aim was to make optimal use of peripheral hospitals, many of which lie under–utilized for want of specialist doctors. "We will be running OPDs as well as performing surgeries in the peripheral hospitals so that locals do not have to come all the way to bigger hospitals," he said. Oak, also a pediatric surgeon, has already performed three surgeries since last week at Shatabdi Hospital. Initially, specialists from departments like general surgery, pediatric surgery, pediatrics and respiratory medicine from KEM Hospital will treat patients.

Doctors from Nair and Sion hospitals are also expected to start visiting the peripheral hospitals from the following week. Nair Hospital is planning to start with the plastic surgery department as Kasturba Hospital has a dedicated burns department that is mostly packed to capacity. "We are starting with plastic surgery but will add other departments later," said dean of Nair hospital Dr Ravi Rananavare. He added that consultants will have OPDs on scheduled days. "Only major ailments, which cannot be treated in peripheral hospitals should be referred to tertiary ones," he added.

As for Veer Savarkar Hospital in Mulund, it will have specialists from ENT, ophthalmology, medicine, pediatrics and surgery departments of Sion hospital treating patients there. "Each department will have a fixed OPD and surgery day," said dean of Sion hospital Dr Sandhya Kamath.

Oak said that the departments have been chosen, keeping in mind health requirements of the particular area. "More specialized departments will be started in peripheral hospitals gradually," he said.

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