Kader Shaikh, 63, tested positive for Covid-19 a month ago. The treatment at a private hospital that cost lakhs of rupees, made the real estate businessman think of those who cannot afford such treatment.
Soon after he was discharged, Shaikh started work to convert his 30,000 square feet office space at Shreyam complex into an 85 beds Covid-19 facility with oxygen facilities to provide free treatment for the poor.
Shaikh signed an agreement with the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to supply medical staff and equipment at the facility with 15 ICU beds in Surat’s Adajan area. Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani and SMC Deputy Health Commissioner Dr Ashish Naik visited the premises and approved the proposal.
On Tuesday, after the infrastructure was ready, SMC health department authorities visited Hiba Hospital, named after Shaikh’s granddaughter, on Tuesday and inspected the arrangements. “We have seen the premises and found it appropriate. In next few days, the hospital will start functioning with patients referred from New Civil hospital and SMIMER hospital,” said Dr Naik.
Talking to The Indian Express, Shaikh said, “This hospital is for everyone, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. I was not born with a silver spoon in spoon in my mouth… I also faced financial problems in earlier days and I worked hard… now I am financially sound. So I thought of lending a helping hand to the needy during this global pandemic… My three sons and I have always helped poor people… Now I felt I should do something more… Hence the hospital.”
Shaikh has also got readied separate space for doctors and nurses. “A kitchen and dining area also have been made ready… We are also planning to provide cooks and take care of daily food needs of patients,” added Shaikh.
The Surat Islam Yatim Khana Society has also written a letter to the district administration and municipal authorities, requesting permission to start a Covid hospital where mild to moderately symptomatic patients can be treated. The society had earlier started a quarantine centre on their premises and now with the help of an NGO, they want to start a dedicated Covid -19 hospital. On Monday, a team from the SMC and the district administration visited the campus and gave approval to the project.
SIYS president Yunus Chakkiwala said, “The premises is vacant now and we thought of using it for Covid treatment. We have also got help from an NGO, who helped set up a hospital in Rajkot and Mumbai. We will sign an MoU with the SMC soon and start work.”