COVID-19 Pune: Outraged kin park ambulance midst road as hospitals deny admission to patient citing hospital bed shortage

Sakal Times News Desk
Wednesday, 22 July 2020

A 34-year-old patient had to run pillar to post for 6 hours in search of an oxygen bed to get admitted in a hospital

Pune: Despite tall claims about adequate hospital beds available in the city made by administration officials and political leaders, a 34-year-old patient had to run pillar to post for 6 hours in search of an oxygen bed to get admitted in a hospital while the oxygen saturation levels in his body dropped continuously. Outraged over denial of admission from several hospitals citing oxygen bed shortage, the relatives decided to park the ambulance carrying the patient at the Tilak chowk near Alka Talkies on Tuesday night. Finally, after several calls from ‘influential’ persons, the patient got an oxygen bed in a civic hospital at Yerawada.

The concerned patient was diagnosed with pneumonia and was advised to get hospitalized as early as possible. His oxygen saturation level in the body was dropping consistently. His family members arranged for an ambulance at around 2 pm on Tuesday afternoon to take him to a nearby hospital. Thereafter the patient was denied admission by several hospitals in the city.

After six hours of a frantic search for an oxygen bed to save the patient’s life, when the family reached a hospital near Alka Talkies, the medical staff asked them to manage on their own. Frustrated and furious over this callous approach of hospital staff, relatives of the patient as a mark of protest decided to park the ambulance in front of Sambhaji police Chowky at the Tilak chowk near Alka Talkies.

Police personnel deployed on duty at the chowk were caught unaware by this protest. They too called some hospitals but were told the same reason for the shortage of hospital beds. Finally, the family members of the patient called up Nayan Pujari, a supporter of independent MLA Bacchu Kadu. Pujari tried to contact several hospitals again. Meanwhile, a PMC official contacted Congress party worker Rishikesh Balgude who in turn made several calls to various hospitals. After calling up several officials and hospitals, Balgude managed to arrange a bed for the patient at the Kasturba Gandhi hospital run by the Pune Municipal Corporation. The patient was admitted to the hospital at around 9.30 pm.

Balgude said, “The PMC should make necessary arrangements for admitting all patients in hospitals. Just having a dashboard displaying hospital beds vacancy is not enough, but patients must be actually admitted thereby hospitals.

Family members of the patient also alleged that Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar, Health Chief and other officials did not respond to their calls made for seeking help during the entire day.

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