A humanitarian crisis brings our strength to the fore. It forces us to do the unthinkable. Setting up a 100-bed ICU in KC General Hospital in Malleshwaram in the quickest possible time is an ideal example of this.
Last year, the COVID 19 pandemic put significant stress on our healthcare resources. As per World Health Organization (WHO), globally, it took 67 days for the first one lakh population to test positive for Corona Virus. The next one lakh happened in just 12 days. And the third lakh in hardly 4 days! Spike in cases in the country created demand and supply skew in ICU infrastructure, ventilators, hospital beds, PPE, and trained personnel.
In a country like India, Government has a crucial role to play in healthcare development and management. Providing high-quality healthcare infrastructure and services in an affordable and readily available manner to citizens rests with the Government. The Pandemic impacted Karnataka and Bengaluru also with cases rising rapidly. Protecting citizens and providing them access to healthcare was imperative.
The sudden surge in the Covid positive cases in Bengaluru led to a shortage of Intensive Care Units (ICU). There was no time to build ICUs the traditional way as the virus was spreading very rapidly. We were grappling with the grim situation as the number of people infected spiralled, and the hospital facility available to isolate and treat them was limited.
India’s first modular ICU set up using containers
I held numerous discussions with experts in the field of healthcare, technology, and other areas to figure out a quick solution to this problem. Such deliberations led me to the idea of converting cargo containers into ICUs. RINAC, a Karnataka-based Company, and Ten organisations in Bengaluru came forward to support the initiative through their CSR fund. I am thankful to ACT Fibernet, Bagmane Group, Brigade Group, Embassy Group, Prestige Foundation, Salarpuria Group, Sami Labs, Soham Renewable Energy India, Triveni Turbines and Vaishnavi Group.
It is a proud and immensely satisfying achievement for me. KC General Hospital in Malleshwaram Bengaluru has shown the way for India. This Hospital is the first to unveil India’s modular Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in July 2020. The Hospital has ten containers with a total capacity of 50 ICU beds. Each container has five beds, equipped with a high-density camera to facilitate remote monitoring, minimising healthcare personnel exposure. Health workers can enter through an airlock and the patients through a separate door.
The containers are 40 feet in length, 10 feet in width and 8 feet in height. The prefabricated modules are airtight and are insulated to ensure there is no moisture or heat ingression. The most significant advantage is that the modular units can be shifted to any location using a trailer. Container manufacturing cost is Rs. 25 lakhs, much less expensive than the traditional manner of building ICUs.
This modular ICU at KC General Hospital today can handle any medical emergency and not just COVID-19 crisis. These units are mobile and can be shifted to any disaster site as it is well-equipped with all facilities. Along with this modular ICUs, we renovated an old building at the Hospital to set up another 50-bed ICU using the state grants. With this, the Hospital has a total of 100 ICU beds. In addition, we enhanced the Liquid Oxygen plant capacity to 8,000-litre and set up a RTPCR Testing Centre. We are also in discussions to set up a trauma centre.
Cathlab for North Bengaluru
Recently the Hospital has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with leading Cardiology Centre, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, for setting up a 50-bed Satellite Centre at K C General Hospital. The Centre will have a Cathlab facility for Cardiology. People of North Bengaluru need not head to Jayadeva once this comes up.
KC General Hospital has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jayadeva Hospital. As per the MoU, KC General Hospital will provide the space and other resources on its second floor measuring 20,000 square feet. On its part, Jayadeva Hospital will take care of all the medical accessories, machinery, and staff. Works in this direction have commenced, and the heart unit will be operational by August this year.
Vaccination drive in full swing
As the Corona Virus vaccination drive began, KC General Hospital is fully equipped with all the facilities. Right from receiving the citizens, crowd management, process-driven inoculation, and document collection until after vaccination management of the citizens, everything is to ensure citizens’ smooth movement.
The on-spot registration is a hit among the senior citizens as they find it convenient to walk in, register, get jabbed, stay under observation for 30 minutes and walk out peacefully.
A model to emulate
Citizens requiring medical intervention is growing by the day, putting continuous pressure on the healthcare system. Hospitals and public healthcare agencies are constantly facing the heat of inadequate solutions. Our modular ICU facility in KC General Hospital stands testimony of how to equip public healthcare centres and hospitals with innovative and modular infrastructure at a fraction of cost and time.
I am happy to say we are now replicating the modular ICU model in the government hospital in Magadi in Ramanagara District. KC General Hospital today stands testimony to an ideal public-private partnership to bring healthcare to the doorstep of citizens. Our #malleshwarammodel of development and social action shows the way to the country once again.