Updated: June 2, 2021 10:57:06 am
After the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation decided to shut down its 200-bed Auto Cluster hospital in Chinchwad on Tuesday, medical and non-medical staff held sit-in protests till late evening, with the staff refusing to move out of the hospital premises.
“We have closed down Auto Cluster hospital from Tuesday. This is because on Sunday, it had one patient and on Monday, it had no patients,” said Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil.
The PCMC decision, however, came as a shock for the 200-odd medical and non-medical staff working at the hospital. The staff said after the PCMC administration took over the charge of the hospital from Sparsh Multispeciality Hospital on May 9, the staff had been warned that if they left, criminal cases would be filed against them.
“The hospital has been suddenly shut down without any prior intimation or provision of employment as assured by them (PCMC) while acquiring the centre. We were all informed on May 9 that we were not allowed to leave the job or apply elsewhere as our services had been acquired by the corporation. We constantly requested them to hold meetings with additional commissioners, still our pleas were unheard… on Monday, we received a mail from the authorities saying we were being released from service, which was totally uncalled for, leaving us unemployed at this peak time,” said Dr Shruti Patil, one of the doctors at the hospital.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Ulhas Jagtap, who was in charge of the Auto Cluster facility, said, “The facility was run by a private contractor since last September. It was taken over by the PCMC on May 9. We will pay the salaries of the doctors, nurses and other staff of the hospital till May 31.”
Jagtap refuted allegations that the staff had been left in the lurch. “As per our information, the entire staff is on the payroll of Sparsh Multipseciality Hospital, from whom we had taken over….Also, our medical officers had urged them to apply in the new hospitals we are starting in Thergaon and Akurdi. In the future, if we have any other vacancies with our other hospitals, we will try to accommodate some of them,” he said.
The hospital was taken over by PCMC after allegations surfaced that some doctors had taken money in exchange of providing an ICU bed to a Covid patient. Two doctors of Auto Cluster Hospital and two doctors of a private hospital were arrested.
Dr Amol Holkunde, director of Sparsh Multipseciality Hospital, said, “The Auto Cluster staff has been taken over by PCMC… the staff now belongs to PCMC. The civic body, which had promised to take care of them, should now keep its word.”
Meanwhile, the PCMC chief said the civic body was planning to close down the jumbo hospital at Nehrunagar as well. “The jumbo hospital has fewer patients now. We will take a call regarding its closure on June 10, depending on the number of patients… we are also planning to partially convert YCM Hospital into a non-Covid facility. The decision will be taken soon,” said Patil.
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