District Collector Naval Kishore Ram on Saturday said he will depute a team of senior officials to “find out exactly what is happening at YCM Hospital”, the biggest dedicated Covid hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The PCMC administration, however, claimed that in the last seven days, the system has improved in the industrial city and new facilities will lead to further improvement in patient care.
“We have set a up a system at Sassoon Hospital where… a patient… is guided and advised to go to a particular hospital where ventilator or oxygen beds are available, if Sassoon Hospital has no beds available. Similarly, the YCM Hospital administration should also take the lead in helping ease the travails of patients. Our efforts should be to ensure that patients get quick treatment so that maximum lives can be saved,” said Ram.
On Thursday, The Indian Express had reported how patients’ relatives, who visited YCM Hospital or other private hospitals, were being told to search for beds in other hospitals, with no one to guide them or advise them. In one particular instance, a family had to go to more than 10 hospitals in search of a ventilator bed.
Ram said he has taken up the issue with the PCMC administration, adding,”Since complaints are pouring in regarding patients being made to run all over the city in search of a vacant hospital bed, I will have to depute officials to find out exactly what is happening at YCM Hospital. The team will be asked to find out the way patient management is being done. A separate help desk is mandatory in government or civic hospitals. Families should first take their patient to civic or government hospitals, which should then guide them…,” he said.
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean of YCM Hospital and Medical College, said, “We have no mechanism even to provide information about beds available at YCM Hospital. We need at least 12 medical social workers to set up a desk which can work 24X7 and provide information about patients’ health to their relatives. I have been told by the PCMC administration that medical social workers will soon be appointed… it will be difficult to set up a mechanism to guide patients’ relatives about available beds in other hospitals due to shortage of manpower”.
“In the last 50 days or so, we haven’t had any unoccupied bed… such has been the demand from patients,” he added.
PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, however, claimed the system has improved drastically in the past one week. “… In the last seven days or so, we have made drastic improvements in the system. Citizens whose reports are coming positive are being helped to get hospital beds or in case they are asymptomatic, they are being given the option of home isolation or care centre… Things will further improve in the coming days.”
“We are appointing data entry operators for system updation. We will also provide them to private hospitals which are struggling with manpower shortage… it will help us find out the availability of oxgyen and ventilator beds in hospitals,” he added.
Meanwhile, some activists have sent a written complaint to the PMC and PCMC commissioners, as well as to the district collector, about the need for setting up an effective system.
“It is quite distressing that serious corona patients are required to run from one hospital to another in search of beds, and some are even dying in the process. PMC and PCMC should declare ward-wise helpline numbers where patients can contact the nodal officer 24×7,” said activist Prashant Inamdar.
“As reported by The Indian Express, the two-day agony of Kutubuddin Shaikh, a Covid patient, who had to be taken to 10 hospitals in PMC and PCMC to secure a hospital bed with a ventilator, clearly reveals the sorry state of affairs prevalent in Pune…,” said 75-year-old activist William Naidu, in a letter to the district collector.
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