Pune: A 57-year-old man - with serious heart ailments - from Vimannagar had to wait for three days to get his report of COVID-19 test and further more than 12 hours to get admission into hospital with an oxygen bed. Sunil Tingre, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Wadgaon Sheri, Pune Municipal Corporation Assistant Health Chief Anjali Sabane and local journalists had to intervene to get admission into a hospital which was demanding advance payment of Rs 50 thousand before treating the patient.
The concerned patient was showing symptoms of COVID-19 on Monday (July 13). His son, who was also a suspected COVID-19 patient, tried to get the elderly man admitted to some hospital and have the COVID-19 test done on him. He took his father to Columbia Asia hospital in the morning. Since the rates were too high, the patient was shifted to Shree hospital in Kharadi. He was taken to the Out Patient Department (OPD) and the COVID-19 test was conducted after paying around Rs 3,000.
The father-son duo waited for the results as their condition deteriorated with every minute passing by. However, the results did not arrive. When requested admission, Shree hospital and Rising Medicare hospital in Kharadi informed the patient that oxygen bed was not available.
Finally, on Wednesday (July 15) they went to the Kharadi COVID Care Centre and did a rapid test of which the report came negative. Around the same time, they received an earlier test report which said the patient was COVID-19 positive.
Since no hospital in the Kharadi area was admitting the patient, patients approached MLA Sunil Tingre and activists of Wadgaon Sheri Nagrik Manch to help them. Tingre contacted Assistant Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Bankar, Dr Rekha Galande, Dr Vijay Bade and Deputy Commissioner Vijay Dahibhate to make an oxygen bed available for patients. Initially, the dashboard information was shared by officials but later Dr Bade asked the relatives to shift the patient to Bharati hospital. Thereafter the relatives tried to arrange for an ambulance but they could not. MLA Tingre intervened again and an ambulance arrived at their place after nearly two hours.
When the patient reached Bharati Hospital, they were asked to pay Rs 50,000 advance, before admission procedure could begin. Finally, a journalist from Nagar road area called up PMC health Chief Dr Sabane and requested her to intervene. Dr Sabane asked the hospital staff to admit the patient under Mahatma Jotiba Phule Health Scheme. Finally, the patient was admitted at around 11 pm Wednesday night, while his son was taken to an isolation ward of a hospital in Kharadi.
Edited by Pravan Jalal