EVEN AS the district hospital in Aundh emerged as the second government-run facility with the highest death rate of around 10 per cent, the district administration said there were at least 111 smaller hospitals in rural areas of Pune district that had not even reported a single death of a Covid-19 patient.
“There are 122 small and big hospitals in rural areas. Except for two to three hospitals, others are smaller. Of these 122 hospitals, which are dedicated Covid facilities, 111 have not reported a single death in the last six months. Only 11 hospitals have reported deaths so far,” said Pune Zilla Parishad CEO Ayush Prasad, who is the executive chairperson of the district health society.
Prasad said in rural areas, deaths were higher in Rui hospital (Baramati), Saswad, and Narayangaon. “Most hospitals in rural areas are small with less than 50 beds or 10 to 15 beds,” he said.
Pointing out some facilities that have a high success rate on the recovery front, Prasad said at Mahalunge Covid Care Centre, where symptomatic and asymptomatic patients were admitted, 4,000 Covid patients had undergone treatment but not a single death had been reported.
He also said at Wipro hospital, out of 1,500 patients, only one Covid-19 death had been reported so far. “Wipro hospital is known for its quality treatment. It’s a top CSR (corporate social responsibility) hospital where expert medical team has been roped in,” he added.
The primary reason for high recovery and fewer deaths in rural hospitals was quality medical care and early detection treatment, Prasad said.
“We have a good team of doctors and nurses. Rural hospitals provide quality medical and nursing care,” he added.
The ZP chief said 122 rural hospitals had 4,000 medical staff, and that out of these 500 were doctors and 1,200 nurses.
Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said, “A young and enthusiastic team of doctors has ensured that the recovery rate remains high in rural hospitals.”
Prasad also said the district hospital in Aundh was under the public health department of the state government. Of around 1,327 Covid-19 patients admitted to the Aundh hospital in the last six months, 128 have succumbed to the viral infection, giving the hospital the highest death rate of 9.64 per cent in rural parts of Pune district.
“The total number of patients admitted to the hospital since March were 2,146 . Of these, we had 1,327 positive cases. So far, 380 have been discharged while 269 have been referred to other hospitals. As many as 491 of them were home quarantined. We have 59 patients still under treatment. Of the total 1,327 positive cases, 128 died. Many who died were brought in at the last stage or had one or more underlying conditions,” said hospital medical officer Dr Prakash Rokde.
The ZP chief said the Aundh hospital had only around 80 beds. “At one point of time, it had the lowest death rate. Compared to Sassoon or YCM, the intake of patients is far too less at Aundh hospital. Both government-run Sassoon hospital and civic-run YCM hospital had in the past registered around 20 per cent death rate. Aundh hospital death rate has remained much lower,” he said.
The death rate at Aundh hospital seemed high because primarily only critical patients were admitted here, Prasad said.
“It is a referral hospital and has smaller intake capacity. Mostly, patients from other hospitals are referred to Aundh. But this hospital hardly sends critical patients to other hospitals. When a hospital finds it difficult to manage a patient, they refer the patient to Aundh hospital. Several patients who died were referred to Aundh hospital in their last stage because it has quality treatment facilities,” he added.
Dr Santosh Deshpande, medical officer (outreach), said, “Aundh hospital earlier had 50 beds, but due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Pune, 38 beds were added. “We have 40 oxygen and eight ventilator beds in the ICU as well,” he said.
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