Talks on with private hospitals, 700 beds added so far: Pune Divisional Commissioner

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas
| Pune |

September 16, 2020 12:43:39 am

According to the Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, among active cases hospitalised in Pune, 4,400 are residents of the city while 2,100 were from outside. (Representational)

Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao on Tuesday said the administration was in talks with private hospitals to increase the number of beds for Covid-19 patients and, in the last four to five days, had been able to add another 700 beds. “The situation is tight. But we are also facing a surge with at least 27 per cent to 28 per cent people from other districts seeking treatment in Pune,” Rao said, adding that they were making arrangements for more oxygen beds and stepping up bed strength at Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli.

According to the Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, among active cases hospitalised in Pune, 4,400 are residents of the city while 2,100 were from outside. The Pune district has reported more than 2.2 lakh cases, out of which, till Monday night, more than 1.2 lakh cases are from the city. At present, 6,837 people are in hospitals while more than 10,556 are in home isolation.

Rao also pointed out that as of Tuesday, there were 659 isolation beds with oxygen facilities that was reflected on the dashboard on bed availability. He said 147 ICU beds and 26 ICU beds with ventilator support were available.

“I will be touring other districts in Pune division. There has been a surge of cases from August 26 and we are now stepping up the bed strength,” Rao said.

On their part, however, private hospitals said the administration had “cornered” them into giving up beds for Covid patients. Bomi Bhote, chairperson of Hospitals Association in Pune, said already 80 per cent private hospital beds were dedicated to Covid patients. “We are now facing staff shortage. Our nurses and doctors are being offered double their salaries and leaving for a three-month contract to government-run facilities,” Bhote said. Bhote said at Ruby Hall Clinic, out of 1,000 nurses, more than 200 quit in the last couple of months.


At Noble hospital, executive director Dr H K Sale said at least 185 nurses had left, and they were facing a staff shortage. “It is not possible for one nurse to handle a Covid patient on ventilator support in the ICU. The load is tremendous and the administration has not been listening to our grievances,” Dr Sale said.

He too pointed out that homeopathic doctors were also being offered double their salaries to manage government-run health facilities.

At Sahyadri hospital, authorities said six months into the pandemic they were under continuous pressure. “There are instances where doctors have been humiliated unnecessarily,” said a doctor, adding that beds reserved for non-Covid patients were also earmarked for Covid patients now due to increasing caseload.

Sassoon hospital unable to take new admissions till September 23

Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said the administration was closely monitoring the situation at Sassoon General Hospital, and that the state’s largest government hospital would be unable to take new Covid admissions till September 23. Work is underway on fixing snags that have affected the smooth flow of oxygen at the 11-storey building whose three floors houses Covid patients, Rao said.

He also said in-house patients were being moved to different buildings on the campus. “There are at least 50 new Covid-related patients seeking admission daily at Sassoon hospital and these will be redirected to D Y Patil hospital and other facilities. We are also sprucing up Wipro hospital at Hinjewadi, which has been underutilised so far,” Rao added.

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