As many as 80 medical staff, including 40 doctors and 40 nurses, have quit the recently inaugurated jumbo Covid facility at CoEP grounds by Friday, raising issues of their safety.
“At least 80 of our medical staff, including 40 doctors and as many nurses, have quit the jumbo facility,” said Sujit Patker, director of Lifeline, which is managing the operations of the hospital.
The doctors and nurses had claimed that they feared for their life from people who were “gatecrashing the jumbo facility, abusing and threatening”. “Some workers of political parties had gatecrashed and abused the medical staff, who then raised concerns regarding their safety. Doctors are being pressurised, RTIs are being filed… Instead of allowing them to focus on treatment of Covid-19 patients, their attention is being diverted towards non-issues,” Patker said.
He added that medical staff have been quitting the jumbo hospital every day. “Some left just a day after joining, some two days later…Then there are those who have even refused to join,” said Patker.
However, the management of the jumbo hospital has launched a fresh recruitment drive. “We will get full replacement for the medical staff who have quit. Many have already joined the facility,” Patker said.
After the medical staff raised concerns of their safety, the hospital management appointed bouncers to guard the doctors. In each shift, five bouncers are guarding the doctors. “In fact, this was one of the conditions in our contract. We have not done anything outside the contract.
Bouncers are necessary as some people are trying to vitiate the atmosphere instead of allowing the doctors to focus on saving the lives of patients,” Patker said.
The hospital management said the problem started as patients were being “dumped” at the facility. “We were told that patients would be admitted in a phase-wise manner. In the first week, we were supposed to admit 25 per cent of the total patient strength. However, we had to handle over 400 patients in the 800-bed jumbo facility. Patients were virtually dumped from other hospitals. We suddenly found ourselves overburdened with critical patients as we had asked doctors to join as per the increase in the patient admissions,” Patker said.
He added that the management was told not to deny admission to any patients. “Therefore, we allowed admission to every patient. A large number of serious patients, who needed ventilator support, were admitted at the facility. Patients are being brought at critical stage… In the last 10 days, 35 deaths have taken place. All these were brought from other hospitals in extremely critical condition,” he said.
Referring to the death of TV journalist Pandurang Raikar, Patkar said, “The family and friends of the journalist wanted to shift him to another private hospital. We had no problem with it. However, at least three cardiac ambulances that were sought by the family of the journalist turned out to be unfit to carry the patient to the private hospital. One of the ambulances did not have a ventilator, in another the ventilator did not work and the third one neither had ventilators nor any doctor. In such a situation, how are we responsible? Our doctors tried their best to save the patient… he was brought in a critical condition.”
By Friday evening, 11 patients had recovered and were shifted from the ICU to oxygen beds.
Meanwhile, at the jumbo hospital at Nehrunagar in PCMC limits, the civic administration has decided to not admit patients shifted from other hospitals. The civic administration has decided to learn lessons from the CoEP jumbo facility in PMC jurisdiction. “We are initially admitting only those patients who are coming for testing at YCM Hospital. So far, around 150 patients have been admitted at our facility,” said Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
On Thursday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also urged the PCMC administration to take all necessary steps to avoid situation like the one developed at jumbo hospital in PMC limits.
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