The jumbo Covid-19 treatment facility at Nehrunagar in PCMC limits, whose opening was earlier delayed by a week, is set to be inaugurated on August 26. Another jumbo facility, which was inaugurated on CoEP grounds in PMC limits, will be operational on Tuesday evening. Similarly, a 244-bed facility at Balewadi and 250-bed facilty at Auto Cluster in Chinchwad are also expected to start by August 28.
Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao told The Indian Express, “Covid-19 patients will no longer need to run around for oxygen and ventilator beds. The problem shortage of beds is sorted. By the end of this week, 2,100 oxygen and ventilator beds will be available for Covid patients.”
Pointing out that the new facilities will instill confidence among patients, Rao said admission of new patients would be the focus at both jumbo facilities. “We will lay emphasis on admitting new patients to the hospital. This will be done through our central command system. We will also take walk-in patients, but if any hospital says it does not have ventilator facility, they can then move patients to these facilities. If hospitals, however, say they are overburdened and, therefore, want to move patients, we will not encourage that,” he said, adding that the administration would be flexible in the matter of admitting Covid patients.
The divisional commissioner said 1,600 beds at two jumbo facilities would be available from this week. “These facilities will have 1,200 oxygen beds and 400 ventilator beds in ICUs. Similarly, at Balewadi and Auto Cluster, we will have around 500 beds. All of them are expected to be operational this week, latest by August 28,” he said.
Suhas Diwase, metropolitan commissioner, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), told The Indian Express that the Nehrunagar jumbo facility was scheduled for inauguration on August 26. “It will, however, be operational by August 28, when patients will be admitted,” he said.
Diwase said admissions would be centralised at both jumbo hospitals. “Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao in consultation with both municipal commissioners will issue admission protocol,” he said.
He also said at both jumbo facilities, patients would not have to pay. “Be it for admission or treatment, patients will not face any issue with regard to bill payment,” he said.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the jumbo hospitals would be a boost at a time when hospitals were facing infrastructural issues. “Patients who are forced to be admitted to private hospitals and run up massive bills will benefit immensely,” he said.
The jumbo facilities are a joint initiative of PMC, PCMC, PMRDA, and district collectorate. The PMRDA looked after the construction aspect, while PMC and PCMC will manage the hospital. Diwase said there were three agencies involved in the projects.
“One looks after the infrastructure, another medicine, and the third equipment installation,” he said, adding that a project consultation had also been appointed besides an executive committee.
Sujit Patkar, director of Lifeline, which will be running the show at the CoEP jumbo facility, said, “The hospital will admit patients in a phased manner. Similarly, a team of 100 doctors has been recruited. At present, equipment validation work is underway.”
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