Admissions to Auto Cluster Covid hospital to be decided by YCMH authorities: Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation

The move comes after the arrest of three doctors for allegedly taking a bribe from the family of a Covid-19 patient for a ventilator bed at the civic-run Auto Cluster Covid hospital.

Following the arrest of three doctors for allegedly taking a bribe from the family of a Covid-19 patient for a ventilator bed at the civic-run Auto Cluster Covid hospital, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has finally decided to streamline admissions to hospitals under it.

Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil has issued directives that henceforth, all admissions to the Auto Cluster Covid hospital will be done through the triage area of the civic-run YCM hospital.

“As an emergency, we had given Sparsh Multispeciality the contract to run the Covid hospital at Auto Cluster in Chinchwad. However, there are complaints from corporators and citizens regarding the admission process at the Auto Cluster facility. The civic general body meeting had also debated this issue. In view of this, patients from different parts of the city should not be directly admitted to the Auto Cluster facility. They should come to the triage of YCM hospital where a team of doctors will decide about admission to the Auto Cluster hospital,” the PCMC chief said in his directive.

He added, “The team will work under the guidance of YCMH dean Dr Rajendra Wable and will include Dr Harshal Pandve, Dr Rahul Gaikwad and Dr Gaurav Wadgaonkar. They will coordinate with the Auto Cluster hospital’s administration and patients should be sent to the facility only when beds are available.”

Speaking about the change, Dr Wable said, “So far, a team from YCM hospital was already taking care of the admission process at the jumbo hospital located in Nehrunagar. From today, our team will decide admissions for the Auto Cluster facility as well.”

Dr Wable said when patients come to the triage area of YCM hospital, the doctors take a call whether to admit them at YCM or send them to other PCMC facilities.

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“If beds are available at YCMH, we admit the patient there. In case there are no vacancies, we explore the possibility of admitting the patient to our other facilities,” he said.

He further informed that if a patient does not have a transport facility, YCMH authorities themselves take the patient to Auto Cluster. “Even otherwise, we provide ambulance service to serious patients to travel to our other facilities,” he added.

Dr Amol Holkunde, CEO of Sparsh Mutispecialty which runs the Auto Cluster facility, said, “It is a great decision as henceforth, we will not have to bother about the admission process. There was already a lot of pressure from corporators and politicians to admit patients close to them. Now, we can fully concentrate on our job.”

When asked about the arrest of a doctor attached to their facility, he added, “We are confident that Dr Pravin Jadhav is innocent. We have given all the information to the police and we are sure that the investigation will reveal that he had not taken any money. He was not even present on the spot when the admission was done. The doctor is a consultant and anaesthetist. He has been working relentlessly for Covid-19 patients and we are fully cooperating with the authorities as we have nothing to hide. The allegations are false and baseless.”

Welcoming PCMC’s move, activist Manav Kamble said, “All admissions, be it under PCMC or private hospitals, should be decided by the YCM hospital. Currently, families of patients are running from pillar to post in search of beds. Real-time updates are not even available on PCMC’s dashboard. If the dashboard shows availability of bed in a particular hospital or if a helpline staff directs them to a particular facility, the families, upon reaching the hospital, find that the bed is actually not available or someone else has grabbed it. Therefore, YCM hospital should decide on the admission process of all Covid hospitals.”

He added that it has taken PCMC administration a whole year to wake up and deal with this issue.

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