Response of Catholic Hospitals to the Corona Virus Pandemic
During this time of the Corona Virus pandemic, hospitals in the Archdiocese of Bombay have sprung into action. Many have taken the lead by providing effective care and treatment to all patients without discrimination.
A shining example of this is the Holy Cross Hospital in Kalyan dedicated to treating COVID 19 patients. The facility currently houses thirty-one COVID positive patients who are being treated free of cost. Sr Marshan Rodrigues, Superior, Holy Cross Hospital was emphatic about the efforts, taken by healthcare workers, “Maximum care is given to the patients, their parameters are checked and recorded, last Monday, four patients became negative from positive and the day before yesterday, seven patients recovered.” To flatten the curve, doctors and nurses at the hospital have been on the forefront. But, before taking on the challenging task of attending to patients, medical staff were counselled by resource personnel. Essentials such as food and PPE kits are also provided to ensure the health and safety of the hospital staff.
Catholic hospitals in our Archdiocese have been proactive in responding to the requests made by government authorities and municipal corporations during this hour of need. Many hospitals have dedicated a section for COVID 19 patients. “Catholic hospitals have co-operated with the government… No hospital has said no,” emphasises Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Bombay.
The St Elizabeth Hospital in South Mumbai has stepped up to the aid of several destitute patients. Since the start of the pandemic, the hospital has been instrumental in providing ration to the poor of the area, attending to patients battling terminal illnesses, and taking care of staff who have migrated from other states. The hospital has treated the unprivileged infected with the Corona Virus free of cost. “We have asked the Association of Hospitals and the Chief Minister how many beds they can give us at the government rate,” says Sarla Macwan FC, Executive Director, St Elizabeth hospital while stressing on the initiatives taken by the hospital. To further assist the needy, St Elizabeth Hospital had reached out to the tribal belts of Mahad, where ration was provided. The hospital has also been mindful of the mental well being of the COVID positive patients and their families by counselling them, when required. Government safety protocols concerning the safety of medical professionals and patients are adhered to by the hospital.
Another prominent Catholic hospital that has joined the fight against the Corona Virus pandemic is the Holy Family hospital at Bandra (West), Mumbai. Equipped with wards for COVID patients, the hospital has joined hands with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to provide free treatment for the needy. On 15th April 2020, the hospital established a COVID Care Centre at Khar, Mumbai, in collaboration with the government. Holy Family Hospital has modified its structure to accommodate COVID 19 patients; this includes an 8-bed isolation ward and a 9-bed critical care unit. A dedicated fever clinic was launched on 15th of March outside the main building of the hospital. An individual showing symptoms of fever, cough and cold can currently avail this facility from 9 am to 10 pm. To safeguard the interest of its staff, the hospital has initiated various measures and facilities concerning health and safety.
The Stella Maris Hospital in Bhayandar has been prompt in responding to the health emergency by keeping its OPD (Outpatient Department) open for non-COVID patients as well as treating those affected by the virus. The hospital has also reached out to pregnant women, with appointments in other hospitals, as its space is currently being dedicated to treat COVID patients. Apart from treating patients, the hospital has extended its outreach efforts by providing food for the needy and helping stranded migrants complete the formalities to reach home. A thousand families have benefited from the relief work undertaken by the hospital.
Catholic hospitals and health care workers in the Archdiocese of Bombay have fought relentlessly against the Corona Virus, saving lives every day. Doctors and nurses from our community work round the clock by putting their lives on the line. Once again proving to us that service to humanity is service to God.