Mumbai staring at a huge shortage of doctors and health professionals


MUMBAI: Mumbai is on the verge of an unprecedented public health emergency crisis as both public and private hospitals in the city are swamped with huge numbers of Covid-19 patients, even as ICU care facilities of almost all hospitals are getting exhausted and a shortage of nearly 400 doctors and healthcare professionals is turning the situation alarmingly grim.

Despite lockdown, Mumbai is witnessing 400 cases daily on average. The city’s medical infrastructure is finding it difficult to meet their needs, forcing a few to wait on roads overnight before the administration makes arrangements.

ET has got details from both private and public hospitals which show that the city, which has a population of about 2 crore, is running out of ordinary beds, ICU beds and doctors to treat Covid-19 and other patients. Till May 1, in BMC-run RN Cooper Hospital located in Mumbai’s suburbs, there were just 11 beds for Covid-19 cases; at KEM Hospital in Parel, there are just 6 beds; at Kasturba hospital, there are just 12 beds.

Similar is the case in private hospitals –– PD Hinduja Hospital had 42 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients but all of them are occupied; Wockhardt Hospital has just one bed available for Covid-19 patients; Lilavati Hospital in Bandra also has just one bed available; only Sushrusha in Vikhroli has 73 beds available and Seven Hills Reliance has 42 beds available.

The situation is so dire that people with non-Covid-19 ailments are struggling to get admitted . For Covid-19 patients, the situation is worse. A 45-year-old woman from Govandi could not be shifted for three days in spite of being symptomatic.


Similarly, a 63-year-old woman had to spend a whole night on the road near her building as there were no beds. She was finally taken to Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri.

What is worse, the city has almost exhausted its ICU care facilities in both public and private hospitals.

The BMC and the Maharashtra government are doing what it can to make space for more beds, but officials involved said: “Having more beds now is like putting band-aid on a fractured hand. We don’t have enough medical personnel, doctors, nurses for the new patients coming in.”

“Beds are not the solution. We need more healthcare personnel,” said a BMC doctor. BMC officials said they would need at least 400 more doctors and other health care personnel in the city for now.


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