The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is planning to hold a protest with eight social organisations against the state government’s decision to construct a temporary facility for Covid-19 patients at a cost of Rs 300 crore, which they say should instead be used to spruce up existing facilities that are lying unutilised.
During a recent meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Pune, MLAs across party lines had complained about the paucity of beds for Covid-19 patients and the “exorbitant prices” being charged by private hospitals in the area. It was then decided to invest Rs 300 crore to construct a temporary facility for Covid-19 patients.
Dr Abhijit More, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party in Pune, said the Kamala Nehru Hospital run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has been lying idle for several years. “This hospital alone has 450 beds but has been lying idle for the last eight years,” he said.
The organisers of the protest, which include the Janwadi Mahila Sanghtana, Kagad Kaach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, National Alliance of People’s Movement, Shramik Mahila Morcha, Jan Arogya Abhiyan and Jan Arogya Manch, said they are protesting because setting up a temporary facility would result in complete contravention of the PMC’s duty to provide quality and affordable medical services to the city. For want of such a facility, private hospitals in the area have mushroomed, which has led to “rampant loot” of people in the city, the organisers said. A robust public health care, they said, is the need of the hour.
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