The Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust (RNCT) is among the select NGOs that have been chosen as partners in a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) project to create about 2,000 temporary incremental ICU care beds across Mumbai. The aim is to make the metropolis ready to cater to all eventualities during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust was founded by late Mahendra G Mehta, and is now run by Rajiv Mahendra Mehta and Asha Mahendra Mehta.
RNCT, along with A.T.E. Chandra Foundation, will provide equipment support for the 219 bed ICU facility that is being set up at NESCO in Goregaon, one of the five such dedicated centres planned.
The Trust was selected based on the scale of its existing operations, its reputation as a long-standing NGO with experience of working across Maharashtra with MNCs and other large donors, and it previous experience in the area of healthcare projects with the government.
Under the scheme, the donor partners will bring in 50% of the total costs, estimated at Rs 8 crore, while the BMC will outsource management of the facility to private doctors. The BMC will also bear the running costs for the project.
The project took shape after a study revealed that despite the number of ICU beds available in the city having increased almost 12 times from 149 in mid-April to 1,748 in July, occupancy was often as high as over 90%! The increase in capacity by about 2,000 beds will help the city deal with the possible increase in demand for ICU beds both due to Covid as well as the scheduling of non-elective surgeries postponed from the first half of the year.
Rajiv M. Mehta of RNCT said, “We have signed an MOU with BMC which allows the Trust to loan the equipment to them until the end of the pandemic in Mumbai. RNCT will periodically monitor the NESCO facility to ensure equipment usage and share dashboards on utilisation. It will also insure all the equipment against natural calamities.”
Keeping in mind the need to ensure that such equipment is subsequently put to the best possible long term use, post the pandemic, RNCT and BMC have agreed that the equipment will be donated by the Trust to deserving hospitals in rural/Tier2 Maharashtra, thereby augmenting long-term health infrastructure needs of the state. All the equipment will come with a three-year AMC and re-installation support.
Given RNCT’s impressive track record during the pandemic, its appeal for support has met with a good response and the NESCO ICU is already partly operational.
“We have appealed to various types of donors including individuals, corporates wanting to utilise their CSR funds and other foundations for contributions. With A.T.E. Chandra Foundation offering to match every donation with an equal amount, we are confident that the facility will be fully functional soon,” said Mehta, adding, “Subsequently we will transfer the equipment in proper condition to carefully chosen partner hospitals and boost quality health care facilities in various parts of Maharashtra.”
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