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Pune administration objects: No entry for family members of Covid-affected patients in YCM Hospital

The district collector has instead asked the hospital administration to appoint more ward boys and ‘ayaahs’ to help patients.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
May 11, 2021 3:07:14 pm
A patient is administered oxygen on a chair (background) at the triage of YCM hospital. (File Photo)

The district administration has objected to the move by PCMC-run YCM Hospital, dedicated Covid-19 hospital, to allow a family member to take care of critically-ill patients in the hospital wards. The district collector has instead asked the hospital administration to appoint more ward boys and ‘ayaahs’ to help patients.

“Though the presence of a family member offers comfort to the patient, the move is fraught with risk. There is a high probability of the family member getting infected and then spreading the virus. He or she could turn out to be the super spreader,” Additional Collector Vijaykumar Deshmukh told on Tuesday

Deshmukh said relatives moving in and out of the COVID-19 ward were not a good sight. “There is risk to the relatives and risk to those in his close contacts when he returns home,” he said.

The district administration instead asked the YCM hospital and the PCMC administration to appoint more ward boys and ‘ayaahs’ to make up for the role of family members.

Dr Rajendra Wable, dean, YCMH dean said that the decision on allowing family members to help critically-ill patients was taken due to acute shortage of staff and in the interest of patients who are mostly senior citizens.

“Since we do not have ventilator beds available for all serious patients, we have kept some of them in wards. Whenever these patients need to go to the toilet, they cannot do so on their own. They need assistance. We cannot provide assistants to each and every patient. Therefore, we had allowed a family member to rush to the aid of the patient whenever required,” he said.

Dr Wable said the family member is supposed to stay put near the hospital premises and is called whenever required.

Dr Wable said after the district administration’s objections, they will have to start recruiting the support staff. “We have 278 support staff. However, some of their family members have contracted Covid, so many are on leave. We will have to advertise or get in touch with private firms seeking recruitment of these staff,” he said.

Advocate Manisha Jadhav, whose elderly relative was admitted to YCM hospital recently, said, “The relative was an old man. Another young relative was taking care of him. The young relative then got infected … This is why I am against the move. There is danger to the life of the family member as well, besides it could lead to spread of the virus. YCM Hospital should find other ways to help the severely ill patient.”

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