Many doctors working with YCM Hospital, a dedicated Covid hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad, have been protesting as they are yet to get their appointment letters. The ruling BJP in the PCMC has been under fire over the issue. Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Usha Dhore, in an interview to The Indian Express, says the appointment of doctors who have been picked by the selection committee will be approved by the General Body at a meeting on Thursday.
During last week’s civic general body meeting, corporators stalled the appointment of doctors. What is going to happen at Thursday’s meeting?
Whatever happened at last week’s meeting was not appropriate. The corporators unnecessarily stalled the appointment of the Covid warrior doctors. I did not approve of their behaviour, it didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to approve the proposal for appointment of doctors last week… however, our party leader told me that in view of the heat generated in the House over the issue, we should approve it in the next meeting.
As a presiding officer, what promise will you make to the Covid warrior doctors who are protesting?
The doctors should not agitate or get worried. They should focus on saving lives. We will ensure permanency in jobs for them. It should be remembered that doctors also leave YCM Hospital if they get better salaries in private hospitals. We consistently face shortage of doctors, especially specialists.
The doctors were selected in February. First the Law Committee delayed their appointments and now the civic general body is doing the same. Why are the appointments being delayed ?
The doctors’ appointments were delayed as civic meetings could not be held because of the pandemic. The meetings were postponed as per government guidelines.
But allegations have surfaced that doctors were asked to pay Rs 30-40 lakh to get permanent jobs with PCMC.
I have also heard about that but no one has produced evidence that money has exchanged hands. If anyone produces the evidence, the matter can be investigated. Personally, I do not get involved in all these things. The selection committee has done the job of picking the doctors and I am sure all this has happened on the basis of merit.
Allegations of money exchanging hands in the PCMC recruitment process are common. Before coming to power in the PCMC, the BJP had promised corruption-free and transparent functioning.
Allegations are often made by those who did not get the job. If anyone has got the job after being forced to pay money, they should come forward. Neither should anyone demand money, nor should anyone give money to get jobs. The entire process should be transparent, which is what the BJP is trying to do in PCMC after coming to power.
YCM Hospital has been witnessing a surge in deaths of Covid patients. Have you tried to ascertain the reason for this from the YCMH dean and doctors ?
I have been regularly in touch with the YCMH dean and even with some of the doctors. They have often told me that patients arrive very late, especially when the oxygen saturation levels has dipped and therefore the doctors get very little time to save their lives… We have urged people to get in touch with doctors the moment they get cold, cough and flu symptoms. But people continue to delay their treatment. I have been urging the YCMH administration to make all efforts to save the lives of patients. I have been told that the death rate at YCMH is lower than other hospitals in Pune.
Why did you accuse the PCMC administration of trying to defame the BJP?
We are upset with PCMC administration. The commissioner had to apologise for bringing the proposal for purchase of education material when the schools were not functioning. Such things give a bad name to the BJP, which has come to power for the first time in PCMC by promising clean, efficient and transparent governance.
On Monday, the Shiv Sena held agitations over the Ganesh idol immersions
The Sena’s agitation was not based on proper information. We have banned immersions at river ghats to stop the spread of Covid-19. However, our mobile vehicles will be moving around in the city, with ponds and barrels for immersions. People can also donate their idols if they want to.
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