Hospital in Focus | Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children
Mumbai’s Wadia Hospital (Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children) carries forward a near-century old mission into the future with path-breaking advances in Paediatrics, and a noble mission of making healthcare a basic human right.
The history of India is replete with stirring tales of commitment and courage. Legends who have changed the nation’s journey with their heroic deeds and visionary acts. The Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children (BJWHC) is the enduring reminder of one such saga. One that has its genesis way back in 1926, a time when majority of large hospitals in the country did not have a dedicated Paediatric Department, and children were perceived by the broader medical fraternity as ‘mini versions of adults’ who didn’t really need separate attention or specialized care.
Sir Ness Wadia (1873-1952), eminent Industrialist and philanthropist of his time, and his brother Cusrow, changed all that when they laid the foundation stone of the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children on the 7th of March in 1926. On the 12th of December 1929, the hospital was declared ‘Open’ by the Governor of Bombay at the time, Sir Frederick Sykes. The idea was dedicated to the memory of their mother Bai Jerbai Wadia as India’s first independent specialized Paediatrics hospital (as recognized by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics) that would be dedicated exclusively to healthcare for children.
The dream of those two trailblazing brothers is today a shining reality on India’s - nay, the world’s - healthcare map. The institution - yes, BJWHC is much more than just another hospital – fulfils many roles : It treats a wide spectrum of rare and complex conditions, makes the latest knowledge and wisdom accessible within the professional community, and remains a pillar of hope, support and joy for its patrons. The hallowed past of the hospital - and the unique place it commands in the nation’s narrative and consciousness - is evident in the fact that it is considered a Heritage Site, a rarity in the fraternity. The organization’s signature line (tagline, in brandspeak) explains its overarching raison-d’etre with profound brevity: “Where comprehensive healthcare meets compassion.”
The Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children (or Wadia Hospital, as it is also affectionately called in short) - located in the heart of the city of Mumbai in the western part of India – is taking the legacy of the Wadia heritage to the world in its own, unique way. The message is inspiringly simple: Every human should have a right to adequate medical attention, regardless of their socio-economic status. BJWHC offers state of the art services for neonatal and paediatric care at affordable costs, making that message – and the dream of the forefathers - come true.
Today, the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children (BJWHC) is the largest and the first Paediatric Hospital established in India. It is one of the few Public Trust Hospitals serving the underprivileged of the country for over 9 decades now. The hospital nurtures the noble goal of converting the Waiting List of Children (in India) for Paediatric Surgery to zero.
Currently operating at 525 beds with over 35 Paediatric services, the BJWHC is managed by an expert team comprising of more than 60 Paediatric specialists providing care for over 2,00,000 children on an outpatient basis, and around 21,000 children as inpatients annually. Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital - the another Unit of Wadia Hospitals - is a 450 Bed specialized centre offering affordable Obstetric and Gynaecological services to women across all sections of society and catering to their evolving needs through different stages of their lives. The hospital possesses 24X7 Cath lab, MRI and other state of the art diagnostic facilities, providing hi-end services under one comprehensive roof. In its effort to provide universal healthcare, BJWHC also acts as a tertiary level referral centre.
While that’s an admirable roster of accomplishments from any angle, it’s hardly all.
The hospital’s Centres of Excellence - straddling domains like Paediatric Neurology, Paediatric Neurosurgery, Paediatric Surgery, Nephrology, Hemat-Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and many more - are where patients are referred to from all over the nation. The Centre of Excellence for Paediatric Cardiology has benefitted over 2000 children pan-India in a short span of two years.
Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children also houses the largest NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) in the world which features 155 beds and offers critical care for newborns and infants with dedicated services and a crew that stands by for action round the clock. The Unit has children who were born with several complications or low birth weight. The hospital has successfully revived children who weighed in at just 400 grams at birth. It is, incidentally, the only centre for Neonatal/Paediatric Dialysis in Western India.
Hi-end clinical excellence, notable quality certifications (such as NABH for both HCO Full Accreditation and Nursing Care Excellence Certification) and affordable cost of treatment makes Wadia hospital a frontrunning destination for medical tourism as well.
The BJWHC is a designated research centre facility and carries out extensive academic and sponsored research activities. It is recognized by multiple leading institutions around the globe, such as :
1. WHO (World Health Organization recognized BJWHC’s laboratory and listed it as the only centre for Thalassemia in India)
2. Ministry of Science & Technology , New Delhi
3. The University of Mumbai (M.Sc & PhD)
4. Indian Council of Medical Research
5. Overseas Development Administration ,British Council, UK
6. Meriux Institute, France
7. Environment Protection Agency, USA
8. Nestec Research Laboratories, Switzerland
The department also collaborates with many prestigious bodies for Research, such as:
1. WHO (World Health Organization)
2. Department of Science and Technology (DST)
3. Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
4. John Hopkin’s University, USA
5. Institute of Research in Reproduction (IRR)
6. Institute of Immuno-Haematology (IIH)
7. Haffkine Institute
8. Cancer Research Institute
9. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
The Wadia hospital houses dedicated centres for Tuberculosis and HIV which undertake extensive research activities with an aim to reduce the burden of these diseases in India and beyond. The BJWHC is a recognized prenatal diagnosis and counseling centre for genetic diseases as well. It is also a nodal centre for Clubfoot in Maharashtra and a pioneer in India when it comes to clubfoot research and treatment.
At the BJWHC, spreading the healing touch of healthcare and nurturing the thirst for medical wisdom are pursued hand-in-hand. The institution is a prestigious teaching hospital with worldwide reputation. Doctors and Nurses from all over India come for higher education and postgraduate training in various specialities at the Hospital. Many renowned doctors across the globe have graduated from here. Wadia hospital is affiliated with nursing colleges (nearly 35 at this point) across India for Paediatric clinical experience in academic nursing courses. The hospital also conducts several vocational courses in nursing, diet, phlebotomy and other disciplines to support the government’s Skill India movement and by extension, plays a role in employment generation.
For the needy and Have-Nots, the hospital carries forward the philanthropic tradition of its founding fathers by providing treatment at minimal cost for which an Indigenous Patients’ Fund is systematically maintained.
In partnership with UNICEF, BJWHC is addressing child survival and development with equity among the most deprived urban poor communities of Mumbai by providing a state-of-the-art Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre for children with Severe Acute Malnutrition. The Facility is being planned as a Centre of Excellence which will sport - amongst other amenities - full training facilities for doctors, nurses and allied professionals.
Numerous Health Camps for Children - including ones where drugs are distributed for free - have been implemented across multiple states over the years by the BJWHC. Impact generated has been measurable, significant and widespread - be it in reducing the number of malnourished children or improving the healthcare status of the community.
As a first of its kind gesture in any large scale program in India, every child who enters BJWHC for an OPD Consultation - or visits a Health Camp conducted by the organization - is mandatorily screened for nutrition status.
The ethos of Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children rests on a robust bedrock of timeless values. Let’s take a look at the purpose-pillars that support the superstructure
To carry forward the philanthropic legacy of the Wadia family and deliver world-class treatments in Paediatrics care at affordable costs.
To provide top-of-the-line affordable healthcare services at par with international standards through preventive, curative, intensive and rehabilitative methods as well as spreading awareness about the same through imparting quality health education. As a teaching institute, it is also a constant endeavour of the institution to provide quality education to aspiring doctors.
Patients First: The organization’s foremost priority is to ensure that its trained professionals meet the needs and expectations of every patient.
Integrity: The hospital prides itself in being ethical and responsible in both thought and action, and encourages openness, honesty and accountability in every interaction – be it with patients and caregivers, or amongst its own workers and teams.
Excellence : The team as a whole strives to provide the best quality healthcare for patients and is devoted to continuously improve its methods and embrace best practices. Strategic interventions – such as training, programs and workshops – are organized regularly to keep the staff at the cutting edge of competency. Knowledge access and management systems are implemented across hierarchies and ranks to keep everyone updated.
Teamwork: A synergistic work ethic ensures that each member contributes and adds value to the environment. At Wadia hospital, teamwork truly makes the dream work.
Caring: Everyone - be it patient or staff - is treated with love, compassion and kindness.
Wadia hospital’s impact - whether one interprets it through the lens of healthcare, humanitarian-ism or social transformation - has resonated at every level. Awards and accolades - not surprisingly - have flown in thick and fast from multiple quarters. Some of them are:
1. Best Hospital in Paediatric Care by CIMS Healthcare Excellence Awards, Mumbai.
2. Single Specialty Hospital - Excellence in Child Healthcare by South Asia e-Health Summit Awards, Delhi.
3. Best Paediatrics Care - Hospital of the year (Western India) by the Worldwide Achievers Healthcare Excellence Awards, Delhi.
4. Best use of CSR practices in Healthcare, World CSR congress, Mumbai.
5. Outstanding Achievement Award in HealthCare - Social Cause, The Golden Globe Tigers Summit Award 2015, Malaysia.
6. Super Quality Crown Award of ‘Most Promising Paediatrics Care Hospital’ as Best Paediatric Care Hospital Brand of the Year in terms of Quality healthcare services at very affordable cost (2015, Orissa).
7. Fair Business Practices’ Award for Charitable Association by the CFBP - Jamnalal Bajaj Uchit Vyavahar (2016, Mumbai).
8. ‘The Best Medical Practise Project’ (2017) by EMA based on the investigation of Socrates Committee Research Centre, Oxford, UK.
9. Most Admired Hospital (Not For Profit) - MT India Healthcare Awards 2018.
10. National Swachhata Award in Sanitation, Health & Hygiene.
The brightly painted wards of Wadia Hospital, surrounded with their favourite Disney characters, offer children a world of hope and belonging - keeping their spirits high as they wait their turn for treatment. This energy and positivity is best reflected in the philosophy and leadership approach of Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, the CEO and driving force of this nearly century old landmark. Just like the hospital’s doctors and staff take tender care of every child by taking a personal interest in each case, Dr Bodhanwala tracks the evolution of the hospital with the doting gaze of a mentor, conscience and guide.
A visionary Healthcare leader with over 35 years of experience and over 100 awards & accreditations (at both national and international level), Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala is an advisor to several frontrunning bodies such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNDP .Ranked second among 25 Healthcare Industry legends in India (by Medicare Insight Magazine), Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala turned Wadia hospital around single-handedly when she took over as CEO in 2012. Her efforts boosted performance across multiple fronts such as scope of services, quality accreditations, systems & operations, safety, finance, infrastructure, partnerships, corporate empanelments, medical tourism, insurance & credit TPA, training & development, committee building, green policies and staff morale. Under her able tutelage and inspired vision, the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children (BJWHC) looks all set for bigger milestones and brighter frontiers.
The BJWHC trusts the constant encouragement and generosity of its well wishers for the smooth functioning of the hospital’s many endeavours. There are several ways in which one can engage with the team and contribute to their mission :
The best way to invest for the future is to invest in the health of the next generation. The Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children invites like-minded organizations to co-create journeys of change together. Corporates can custom create a plan that meets their CSR objectives while underlining their commitment to a better world for ‘little ones with big dreams’.
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