Mumbai: General wards of civic hospitals may get airconditioning

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Mumbai: General wards of civic hospitals are likely to get air-conditioning. A proposal to this effect is likely to be tabled at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) standing committee meeting next week for approval.

The move comes after Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi’s surprise inspection at the King Edward Memorial Hospital last year, after which he decided the general ward and other facilities at the hospital needed upgrades.

Officials from the BMC’s mechanical and electrical departments said they had received a proposal form Pardeshi to make the general wards of all four civic hospitals air-conditioned.

However, the proposal is still being examined. “General wards of hospitals are always packed with patients, hence, to instal central air-conditioning, the floor map must be assessed, to determine the air flow. Proper ventilation and fire safety methods must be put in place,” he said.

On a pilot basis, two wards at the KEM hospital will be air-conditioned. But the hospital infection committee (HIC) is debating this upgrade.

“Many undiagnosed patients come to the general ward for treatment and in a climate-controlled environment, the chances of airborne diseases spreading will increase and this can affect otherwise non-infected patients,” said Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, KEM hospital.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, medical director of the four civic hospitals, said there are various issues which the HICs must clear first. “Work on this will begin only after the HIC report is submitted to the BMC. For now, the decision is on hold,” he said

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