Small hospitals in Pune struggle to make ends meet
PUNE As major hospitals in Pune struggle to cope with rising Covid cases, citizens resort to smaller hospitals. In some cases, these hospitals are unable to provide proper treatment to patients. In two such incidents, it was found that while these smaller hospitals admitted patients who had severe Covid symptoms, but allegedly failed to provide proper treatment.
Sana Hospital located in Kondhwa, came under heavy fire on social media after a video made by the deceased patient’s father went viral. In the video, the father of Atikh Sayed, Abdul Sayyed alleged that the hospital made him buy expensive medicines costing ₹14,000 daily for almost a week. The video spread on social media and the hospital had to face violent threats from relatives of patients.
Dr Suhel Khan who runs the hospital said, “We have treated over 800 OPD patients of Covid who were in home isolation and above 180 in patients in our hospitals since the last wave and we have a recovery rate of over 90 per cent. After a patient does not get a bed in any of the major hospitals they come to us and we try to accommodate them. In smaller hospitals, the relatives have access to the doctor and so they try to get violent sometimes. In this particular case, I filed a complaint with the local police to provide us protection.”
In another case, a senior citizen was forced to be admitted at Welfare Hospital where the relative who himself was Covid positive had to cater to the patient’s needs as the entire family was quarantined. The relative requesting anonymity said, “My mother is a diabetic and she did not get breakfast in the hospital. I had to get it from outside. she did not even get hot water to drink. We got admitted late last night and throughout the night there were no doctors available to start the treatment.”
In response to the allegations Dr Sadik Khan, who is one of the medical directors, said, “We have an extreme shortage of manpower. We do not have catering facilities at our hospital and we ask the relatives to get food for the patient. In some cases, we have certain locals who provide tiffin services if needed. At smaller hospitals, the issue is that there is no space to provide isolation between relatives and patients.”
Dr Sanjay Patil, hospital board chairperson, Pune, Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Most of the smaller hospitals are run by single doctors or by couple doctors. They have to single-handedly manage oxygen supply, medicines and do clerical work for medical insurance. The doctors also have to simultaneously manage OPD and hospitalised patients too. Since they have limited beds, they do not have any step-down or step-up facility wherein they have reserve beds to transfer a patient from ICU to oxygen bed or oxygen to ICU beds. Catering and manpower are crucial issues in these hospitals which is not the case with major hospitals.”