BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta has granted approval to increase the bed strength at the three municipal medical colleges by nearly 30%.
"Yes, we have got the administrative approval. Many of these beds have already been approved to the medical colleges over the years. KEM, for instance, already has over 2,000 beds. Some beds at Nair and Sion hospitals will be commissioned now," said Dr Suhasini Nagda, director of BMC's major hospitals.
The bed capacity at Parel's KEM Hospital, LTMG Hospital at Sion and BYL Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central will increase by 450 each over the next six months. Currently, all these tertiary hospitals put together have around 5,050 beds out of the 11,000-odd municipal beds on offer.
KEM dean, Dr Avinash Supe said, "Many of the additional beds are existing but we will be able to recruit more doctors, nurses and class IV staffers after the official approval. More beds and staff are likely to come in a phased manner over the next six months."
Supe said the increase in bed count could also help the colleges to ask for more MBBS seats. A proposal exists to increase the MBBS seats at KEM by 20 from 180. LTMG is also trying to add 50 more seats to its 100.
"The quality of care may marginally increase but overall it may not make a huge difference. Most of these hospitals are treating way beyond their capacity. The need of the hour is to strengthen the peripheral hospitals so that these tertiary centers can focus on treating the complicated cases," said a senior doctor.