India beds covid hospital
Lines of beds at a makeshift COVID-19 quarantine facility in New Delhi. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Aster Volunteers, the global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Aster DM Healthcare, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Shifa Multispeciality Hospital in New Delhi to set up a 50-bed field hospital in New Delhi to meet the shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in the Indian capital. The initiative is aimed at supporting patients who are financially disadvantaged and yet in need of critical care.

Ramping up health care to meet growing needs

As a part of the MoU, Aster will be supporting the development of the medical facility and ensure that necessary infrastructure is in place, while Al Shifa will be responsible for operating the hospital. The funds will be used to purchase patient beds, medical equipment and other items needed to operate the field hospital.

Meeting the health-care needs of the poor

Speaking on the initiative, Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “India requires aggressive measures at the moment to be able to tackle the current situation. While our 14 hospitals in India, spread across Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, are working on a war-footing to serve as many COVID-19 positive patients as possible, maintaining all the protocol needed to break the chain of infection, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for hospital beds in major cities across India like New Delhi. This need is higher especially among the financially weaker segments of society.

With this 50-bed field hospital in New Delhi, we sincerely hope that we will be able to serve patients in need and save a few families from losing their loved ones. Apart from this, we are also planning to provide a 50 per cent discount on emergency critical surgeries such as transplants, cardiac and oncology surgeries for needy patients through our Aster hospitals in Kerala.”

Fulfilling the rising demand for hospital bed

Arif Ali from the Human Welfare Trust that runs Al Shifa Multispeciality Hospital, said: “While we are doing everything we can to help as many patients in Delhi and NCR, it is still far from enough and the situation is getting worse by the day. We are glad to partner with Aster Volunteers and increase our capacity to serve patients and address India’s need to manage the pandemic,” he added.

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A health-care eco system linking India to the GCC

With 14 out of 27 Aster Hospitals being based in India, and almost 70 per cent of the staff across Aster DM Healthcare’s global network being Indians, the organisation has built a health-care ecosystem between GCC and India, which is proving to be pivotal in Aster’s efforts to work alongside local governments to fight the pandemic. When UAE faced its first COVID-19 surge in 2020, Aster was the first company to work alongside India and UAE governments to bring 88 nurses from Aster hospitals in India to manage the influx of positive cases in UAE.

Now, through the 14 existing hospitals and the new field hospital coming up in New Delhi, Aster DM Healthcare is leaving no stone unturned to help India emerge from the current crisis.