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20 January 2012
Mumbai India

Two days after DNA highlighted the sorry state of affairs at Asia’s largest tuberculosis (TB) hospital at Sewri (TB hospital struggles, as do its patients), the state government on Thursday decided on an overhaul to make it a centre of excellence for TB management.

Dr P Gaikwad, joint director for tuberculosis from the state health department, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been asked to renovate the Sewri TB Hospital at the earliest. “The state will help the corporation in making it the centre of excellence in tuberculosis management.”

The redevelopment plan includes a full-fledged laboratory with all modern equipment, added Dr Gaikwad.

The BMC has pegged the initial cost to begin the work at Rs40 lakh. “The state government will later reimburse the BMC,” said Dr Gaikwad.

On the cards is also the renovation of the operation theatres (OTs) at the hospital. On January 17, DNA had reported that the OTs are more or less shut and that only minor surgeries are now performed there.

“The surgery part has been neglected in treatment of TB . It has a definite place in treating multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB patients,” said Dr Gaikwad.

The last major operation at the hospital was performed in 2006. Admitting that there is a shortage of thoracic surgeons, Dr Gaikwad said such retired surgeons will be requested to help.

“We are asking two retired thoracic surgeons who now stay in Thane if they can come here. We will invite interested doctors to come and start surgeries under the guidance of these senior thoracic surgeons.”

A plan will be chalked out to convince those doctors who are not too keen on joining the hospital.

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