Rural Hospital Mahableshwar

Government of Maharashtra has a hospital  right next to the Mahabaleshwar main market.  The campus has 3 main buildings (IPD & OPD block and office block and various quarters for doctors, nurses and other staff).

Due to acute shortage of doctors and nurses in the Government sector, the hospital was never properly functional. The local population were  not having any medical facility not only for the town but also for the villages around. Hence there were lot of appeals made  to the Government to make this a functional hospital. So also there wasn’t  any proper medical facility for approximately 2 million tourists coming to Mahabaleshwar in case of a traffic accident or medical / cardiac emergencies. Prior to 2018  there have been many deaths of important people from Mumbai while in Mahabaleshwar without even getting lifesaving primary treatment.

It was in this context that the idea of handing over this hospital to Indian Red Cross Society’s Bel-Air Hospital was floated. In spite of repeated assurances of various state governors and ministers  there was delay of three years while the proposal was pending with the Government. Meanwhile there was a huge pressure from the citizens of Mahabaleshwar on the Government to finalize the proposal. It was in this context Mr.Deepak Sawant, Honorable Health Minister of Maharashtra  visited  Mahabaleshwar Government Hospital and Bel-Air  on 13th July 2017 for a personal inspection. He was hugely impressed by Bel-Air and declared publicly that the proposal will be finalized without delay. 

The Government got this proposal vetted by the Director of Health Services, Law & Judiciary Department, Department of Finance and Ministry of Public Health and finally approved and issued the Government Resolution dated 27th March 2018.

On taking over the hospital we have realized that there are major civil repairs required for providing proper health services. For example floor of toilets in OPD building was sinking, windows are broken and plaster is peeling off in many places. There are cracks on the walls, many electrical wires are dangerously hanging, ceilings are broken, the railings on the steps used by patients were rusted dangerously posing safety risks. It was impossible to give any kind of quality service in such a building.  

We started the repairs on urgent basis immediately on taking over by garnering funds through corporate donors, after shifting the OPD and Emergency Services to the upper section of the IPD block which was closed down. There are major similar repairs required for the IPD block as well as all the staff quarters buildings, which will be taken up once the OPD block is ready. Today all the buildings of the hospital have been repaired and renovated. Modern fully equipped ICU block and an operation theatre has been set up, new equipment like sonography machine, digital X-ray system, cots for the wards  etc have also been installed.

Before Bel-Air took over the Rural Hospital, very few pateints accessed the facilities. However after Bel-Air took over there has been a surge of patients accessing the services offered round the clock.

A summary of services provided by  Rural Hospital, Mahabaleshwar:

Sr. No.Services ProvidedNos.
1Out Patient24826
2In Patient598
3Deliveries  49
5Dog bite320
6Referral Services138
7DT injection given7827
8ANC Registration250
9HB Tests Conducted567
10Blood Sugar Level310
11HIV Tests   3712
12Sputum Tests199
13Pregnancy Tests91
15Major Surgery11
16Minor Surgery355
17Road Traffic Accidents108
19Total Lab9720

Facilities at Bel-Air

Today Bel-Air is a general hospital with 200 beds in departments of general medicine, Orthopaedics, and Paediatrics, TB and HIV/AIDS medicine. There are also weekly clinics for Ophthalmology. It has a built up area of 3 lacs sq. ft.  With 15 wards, an ICU cum emergency ward, 4 fully equipped operation theatres, an NICU and  a modern dental clinic, Bel-Air has all the back up facilities like Pathological Laboratory, X-ray, pharmacy, ECG, flowcytometery system to conduct CD4 testing of HIV/AIDS patients, canteen, mess & dining hall, Training Centre with accommodation and dining facilities. The hospital also has a generator backup for the whole campus. Besides this it has full fledged linen, workshop & Maintenance Departments, a separate Office and Administrative Block, quarters for doctors as well as all staff, a nurses hostel, 500 capacity auditorium for patients and community training, wells and water pumps, a Dairy Farm which provides 150 litres of milk per day.

The hospital has four  ambulances, one of which is a cardiac ambulance. Besides this it also has 2 buses  and 2 jeeps and an Innova car for transportation.