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‘Actions of staff blot on humanity’: PCMC takes over management of Auto Cluster hospital

The development came after Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash wrote to the PCMC administration, in which he warned that if the civic body failed to put its hospitals in order, it would lead to serious law and order issues.

Written by Manoj Dattatreya More | Pune |
May 9, 2021 10:59:52 pm
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (Express photo)

Facing heavy criticism and cases filed against medical and non-medical staff, the PCMC on Sunday took over the management of the Auto Cluster Covid hospital from Fortune Sparsh Multispeciality Pvt Ltd, a private firm that received the contract to manage the hospital last year. The development came after Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash wrote to the PCMC administration, in which he warned that if the civic body failed to put its hospitals in order, it would lead to serious law and order issues.

In his directives issued on Sunday, Municipal commissioner Rajesh Patil appointed additional municipal commissioner Ulhas Jagtap to look into the functioning of the hospital.

“The PCMC set up dedicated Covid hospitals like the Auto Cluster facility and jumbo hospital for providing free treatment and facilities to Covid patients. However, doctors of Auto Cluster hospital were found to be taking bribe for providing a ventilator bed to a patient. Besides, remdesivir, which was provided to Auto Cluster hospital for distribution to patients, was being sold illegally. It has been observed that the Sparsh hospital administration has failed to run the hospital as per the contract. They have provided poor quality management and have no control over their employees, who are involved in these malpractices. The actions of their staff is a blot on humanity. We are, therefore, taking over the management of the Auto Cluster hospital from Sparsh hospital,” stated the order issued by the municipal commissioner.

Patil has also warned against putting Sparsh multispeciality hospital in the civic body’s blacklist and lodging a police complaint against it. “A show-cause notice is being issued to the Sparsh management, which has to reply within four days or face action,” he said.

Patil also said the Sparsh management has violated the contract signed with the PCMC. “It has tarnished the public image of the PCMC… I have been told that families of patients suffered mental harassment at the Auto Cluster hospital,” he said. The order, however, stated that all the staff of the Auto Cluster facility will be retained by the PCMC.

When contacted, PCMC additional municipal commissioner Vikas Dhakane said, “PCMC has taken over the management of the Auto Cluster Covid hospital. Now, the PCMC will look after its day-to-day functioning. The contract with Sparsh multispeciality, which was running the Auto Cluster hospital, stands cancelled.”

The civic administration has been under pressure to initiate measures, especially, after two doctors of the Auto Cluster hospital allegedly took money from a Covid patient’s family for a ventilator bed, in connivance with two other private hospital doctors for providing a ventilator bed. All four have been arrested. Political parties, including the ruling BJP, have demanded the contract with Sparsh Multispeciality be scrapped. “Our demand has been finally accepted,” said BJP corporator Seema Savale.

Prakash, in his letter to Patil, said, “Since doctors from Sparsh Multispeciality, which runs PCMC’s Covid hospital, have been found to be involved in a wrongdoing, the PCMC should initiate strict action in the matter so that such incidents do not occur in future.”

Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Prakash said, “I sent a letter to the PCMC commissioner after the Auto Cluster incident came to light. I have not only demanded action against those who run the PCMC Covid hospital, but also suggested that the PCMC set its house in order vis-a-vis all civic hospitals.”

Prakash said doctors from the Auto Cluster hospital were found taking bribe. “And now, one employee has been found black marketing remdesivir injections. There is something wrong in the functioning of the hospitals. The PCMC should take strong measures to put things in order… Otherwise this will anger the people and lead to a law and order issue,” he added.

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When contacted, Mayor Usha Dhore said she had raised the issue with the PCMC commissioner on Saturday. “The PCMC chief promised to take measures to get the functioning of all hospitals, including the Auto Cluster hospital, in order,” she said.

Dhore said the police chief was not wrong in giving the PCMC a warning. “The police chief alerted us about what could happen in future if the hospital staff continues to behave this way… It is our duty to get everything right,” she said.

Dhore also said the civic administration had already sorted out the admission process at all hospitals, including the Auto Cluster facility. “The decision of admissions is being made by doctors of YCM hospital. Patients first have to go to YCMH triage, where a team of doctors will refer them to Auto Cluster or any other civic hospital,” she added.

Talking about the incident in which an employee of the Auto Cluster was caught in alleged black marketing remdesivir, the mayor said, “After doctors, a non-medical staff member has also been arrested. Because of some, the entire system has come under the scanner…”

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