At separate meetings on Monday, Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar and District Collector Naval Kishore Ram cautioned doctors against denying treatment to patients as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
“There have been cases where I get a call early in the morning that a particular hospital has not admitted a patient for delivery and then I have to intervene and ask another hospital to perform the operation. This should not be the case and so, we have urged hospitals to take a more humanitarian view while we are also working out the practical aspects,” Ram told The Indian Express.
With 1.5 lakh pregnant women requiring ante-natal care, a big concern among city-based gynaecologists is testing asymptomatic cases for coronavirus and sending them for deliveries at dedicated coronavirus care hospitals if they test positive.
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s guidelines say that five days before delivery, a pregnant woman needs to get tested and accordingly the delivery can be performed at a COVID-19 care hospital.
Dr Sanjay Gupte, former president of Federation of Obstetric Gynaecologists and Surgeons of India, who was part of the meeting, said they have taken precautionary measures at nursing homes like screening at entry, history of the patient and other details and deliveries are being performed by donning the necessary safety equipment.
However, it was suggested whether a private facility can be so designated where pregnant women who are COVID-19 positive can be admitted for delivery.
Dr Milind Telang, a FOGSI member who has a nursing home, said it was understandable that pregnant women are under more stress due to the COVID-19 test they need to undergo, but it is crucial not just for the mother and baby but also the healthcare staff.
Dr Sanjay Patil, vice president of Maharashtra unit of Indian Medical Association, said the risk of cross infection was too high, so there was a need for separate wards with full PPE to conduct deliveries. Dr Harshad Parasnis, president of the Poona Obstetric and Gynaecologists Society, said it was important that coronavirus positive patients do not come in contact with those who test negative. “This is an evolving disease and so, guidelines keep changing. However, there is a need for a separate treatment facility for pregnant women,” he said.
While the divisional commissioner has promised to look into the issues faced by private hospitals and arrive at guidelines by Sunday, he has also reiterated that patients should not be denied treatment.
District admin allocates funds to cantt board hospital
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram conducted a meeting to take stock of the healthcare facilities under the cantonment boards of Pune, Khadki and Dehu Road and approved a sum of Rs 50 lakh for the Khadki cantonment board-run hospital. He also directed authorities to step up the number of ICU beds at the hospitals and submit their list of requirements for PPE. He also pulled up the medical care staff under these cantonment boards who were denying treatment to patients and warned of strict action under the Epidemic Diseases Act.