Amid cash crunch, PCB to start ICU centre at Sardar Vallabhai Patel Hospital on July 10
We will fund the monthly salaries and other expenses, budgeted at Rs 30 lakh per month, to run the ICU from our budget, says CEO Amit KumarUpdated: Jul 04, 2020 16:15 IST
The intensive care unit (ICU) at the Pune Cantonment Board’s (PCB) Sardar Vallabhai Patel Hospital, will open on July 10, PCB chief executive officer (CEO) Amit Kumar said on Friday.
Given the Covid situation in the Cantonment area (see box), the cash-strapped PCB is taking what it cites as a “Rs 30-lakh per month decision”, to get the ICU going.
CEO Amit Kumar said, “Despite the unprecedented financial crisis affecting the Cantonment board, we have ensured that the ICU will start operations from July 10 and we will fund the monthly salaries and other expenses, budgeted at Rs 30 lakh per month, to run the ICU from our budget.”
The ICU was constructed in April after the district administration made Rs 2.30 crore available, aimed at ensuring the facility was ready to combat the Covid situation in the Cantonment area.
However, it has remained non-functional since due to a lack of funds to hire the necessary staff – full-time doctors, nurses, ward boys, security and intensivists.
The PCB is in a financial crisis has been fund deficient since 2019.
Requests have also been made for medical staff to the state government and the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) here in Pune.
Kumar said, “Nobody was ready to work for the project during the lockdown. We even approached the AFMC for their assistance and are awaiting their response. No intensivist was ready to come at the salary proposed by us as they are in demand, and get higher salaries at other hospitals. Moreover, we wanted full manpower in place before we began. We cannot play with the lives of the people. We can sustain the running of the ICU expenses now for three months only; our financial condition is such.”
The Maharashtra government will provide 16 armed security personnel for the ICU facility, Kumar said, adding that the board would pay Rs 3.50 lakh per month as salaries to the staff.
As of June 2020, the PCB has a bank balance of Rs 5 lakh.