Aiding Masina's fight

"We intended to have only a limited number of beds reserved for the victims of coronavirus when the epidemic hit the city in March 2020… The numbers kept on getting larger,” chief executive officer (CEO) of Masina Hospital Dr Vispi Jokhi told Parsiana on June 3, 2020. Today, 84 of the Hospital’s 272 beds are reserved for the COVID 19 infected patients, he informed us. This number may increase to 100 very soon; there is a waiting list, he stated. To date, the Hospital has treated over 100 coronavirus infected patients, "and had only a few mortalities, mainly on account of late presentation and severe co-morbidities (pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension).”

"When the number kept growing, we thought we would reduce the range of other services offered.” The Hospital is currently treating only those who are virus infected, cardiac and stroke-affected patients and women who need gynecological services. Cardiac care includes surgeries and intensive care. "We continue to operate our dialysis unit,” Jokhi noted. "We want to restart our orthopedic department soon,” he stated in a detailed note cum general appeal for funds.

"The costs of keeping our staff safe are high… we do not compromise on the quality of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all levels of our care givers,” said the CEO. "Currently we have over 180 of our staff camping at the Hospital,” Jokhi stated, singling out senior nephrologist Dr Chandan Chaudhari and infectious disease specialists Drs Trupti Gilada and Sonam Solanki who are playing leading roles. The Hospital’s note states that staff is "made to do only six-hour shifts as it is very difficult to remain in PPE for prolonged periods of time... They can do duty only for seven days at a stretch and thereafter they are tested for infection and kept in quarantine for the next seven days.” All the staff and workmen of the Hospital have been assured that if they or their dependent family members test positive for coronavirus, they will be treated free at the Hospital, Jokhi informed us.

Established in 1902, Jokhi surmises that Masina is among the few privately run city hospitals that would have treated victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918. The Hospital has leveraged learning from its renowned Eric Kharas Burns Research Unit. He noted that all their patient rooms and wards are air conditioned, each with separate split units. "This has been designed on account of our experience in our burns unit. Central air conditioning units lead to spread of disease” and hence not used.

The CEO appreciated the efforts of the World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust Funds for contributing towards one portable cabin "which has been equipped for use as fever casualty unit (where patients who need to be admitted are housed prior to testing for coronavirus).” The Hospital Trust has received funding from the Shapoorji Pallonji Group for "two fully furnished, air conditioned porta cabins with bunk beds to accommodate some of the staff” who reside on the campus. The Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America has collected and sent USD 12,500 for the Hospital.

The temporary stoppage of the Hospital’s outpatient clinics, private clinics, and all elective surgeries has "already cost us a great dip in our revenues... added to this is the cost of procuring material at inflated costs, and taking care of essential staff including paying for their transportation, boarding and lodging,” notes the Hospital’s appeal for funds. "Our monthly cash deficit presently is in excess of Rs 1.5 crores,” it states.

The Hospital can accept donations in Indian as well as foreign currency and can provide certification for deductions under India’s Income Tax Act. The Hospital Trust solicits donations along with a copy of the donor’s Permanent Account Number.

Their appeal provides the following details:
In Indian Rupees:
Name: Masina Hospital Trust
Bank account: 911010065291241
Bank name: Axis Bank Ltd.
Branch: Byculla, Mumbai - 400008
IFS Code: UTIB0000592
MICR Code: 400211051
Service Tax Regn No: AAATMO786DSD001

In foreign currency:
Name: Masina Hospital Trust
Bank account: 316202010014407
Bank: Union Bank of India
Branch: Byculla, Mumbai - 400008
IFS Code: UBIN0531626
MICR Code: 400026014
Service Tax Regn No: AAATMO786DSD001

Photos supplied by Masina Hospital