Pune: As the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has a limited number of beds in their hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, it has made alternative arrangements in private hospitals to admit patients for treatment. The civic body has allocated Rs 10 crore for treatment of patients in private hospitals.
At present, there is no new admission in 130-bed Naidu hospital. A similar situation prevails in other PMC-run hospitals such as Dalvi, Bopodi, Rakeshnagar, NICMAR, Sinhagad Road and Laigude. The total capacity of all these hospitals is 1,000 beds, which is now full. Therefore, PMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 13 city-based private hospitals to admit severe symptomatic patients. It has decided to pay bills to these private hospitals against patients’ treatment. After Mumbai, Pune is in the red zone, and the number of patients is increasing daily.
According to PMC health department officials, of the total COVID-19 patients, around 25 per cent are admitted to private hospitals daily. Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agrawal said, “For the treatment of COVID-19 patients, we have signed MoU with private hospitals. We will pay bills for the treatment of patients. But any patient wants extra facilities such as a private room, they will have to pay from their pockets. PMC will pay charges of treatment only. PMC has allocated Rs 10 crore right now and will increase allocation as per requirement.”
Despite signing the MoU with private hospitals, the civic administration is not getting good response from them. During a media visit to the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad expressed disappointment over the approach of private hospitals as they are apparently not cooperating with the civic body.
Besides the MoU with private hospitals, PMC has set up a COVID-19 care centre in Balewadi Stadium to keep quarantined patients. As per the civic body, the number of patients there may reach 5,000 by this month-end. PMC is setting up 1,500 beds in Balewadi Stadium. Of these, 500 beds are ready for use.