St. John’s Medical College in Bengaluru, Karnataka. (Photo: Wikimapia)
The first Catholic medical facility in India fully equipped to serve Covid-19 patients has been inaugurated in Bengaluru in Karnataka state.
The Covid care center at St John’s Medical College, which has 48 isolation beds, a 24-bed intensive treatment unit (ITU) and a 24-bed intensive care unit (ICU), was blessed and inaugurated by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore on Aug. 17.
“The Church is always at the forefront to help the poor and the needy, whether in the education or health fields, and it is an opportunity to give our selfless service to our society and nation,” Archbishop Machado told UCA News.
“Our hospital has taken a leading step to provide healthcare to people during these crucial times. It is a first in the country and I salute and thank people who made this possible.”
He said the medical college has given free treatment worth over 5 million rupees (US$67,000) in the last five months in tackling pandemic cases.
By the end of July, it had screened more than 5,000 fever patients, 2,000 patients in the emergency department, treated more than 600 patients on the wards and taken care of some 500 critically ill patients in the ICU.
“Despite the difficult financial situation of the hospital, we are giving the best of Covid care facilities, which is unique among private hospitals. It is the best thing we could provide during these difficult times,” Father Paul Parathazham, director of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, told UCA News.
“Our center is located away from the main hospital but has connections to it so that non-Covid patients can access the outpatient department area, laboratory and pharmacy without coming into contact with infected patients.
“Covid patients are stigmatized, ostracized and even physically attacked but following the St. John’s motto of ‘Serving the underserved,’ it has risen to the challenge of providing affordable healthcare to Covid patients.”
Father Parathazham said that Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives supported the establishment of the ICU and Titan Company Ltd. funded the 48-bed isolation ward.
St. John's Medical College is a private medical college and hospital situated in Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore. It is part of the St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences run by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).
It was established in 1963 by the CBCI with the aim of training healthcare personnel committed to serving the poor in the margins.
Nearly 53,000 people had lost their lives due to Covid-19 in India as of Aug. 20.