COVID-19 Pune: City hospitals are operating in the pandemic with multiple challenges
There is panic among people. It's like any other viral infection but the panic that it has generated is huge. One of the main things is to manage the psychology of the people. To break this news that they are positive is creating a paranoid situation among people. The paranoid factor is much more than any other disease. People should be disciplined to wear the mask, follow social distancing, and washing hands.
For the next six to eight months living with COVID -19 is going to be a way of life for us. How to make our functioning smooth and simple is where the challenge lies while living with the COVID in the new normal. All the hospitals from Pune are facing many challenges, what is important now for people to be disciplined.
Issue of availability of beds at hospitals
The availability of beds is no doubt an issue that needs to be dealt with. Overnight there is a high resurgence in cases. And we have a responsibility to non-COVID patients also. But there are many healthcare facilities that we can utilize by activating them facilities for COVID. Rajeev Gandhi Hospital in Yerwada, for example is unutilised. All the government hospitals that are not utilized should also be utilized in these times.
Manpower shortage in healthcare
At the same time, all healthcare facilities are facing manpower problems. It is not a problem of lack of infrastructure, it is a problem of availability of human resources. The shortage of doctors and nurses is a major issue that almost all healthcare providers are facing now. As the healthcare staff is overworking, there is increasing fatigue among them.
All routine administrative activities like data entry, form filling should be removed from healthcare workers and should be given to administrative staff. The paperwork is taking up a lot of time of all healthcare providers.
Shortage of Remdesivir
The shortage of Remdesivir is being reported recently. But that is bound to happen with the explosion that is taking place. The number will increase even more if the disciplined is not maintained. The lack of discipline is also a major cause for spread of the disease.
Issue of overcharging and price cap norm
There is a price cap norm put up by government. There is also the constant speculation that private hospitals are charging more. The rates that are fixed by the government are extremely low. We have given 80 percent of the beds to COVID. The doctors and nurses who are catering to COVID patients and who are working for more number of hours these days, their salary is increased. But at the same time our revenue has reduced by almost half because of the price cap norm by the government. Then while running a hospital, how do you pay these doctors and nurses? Government should be reasonable in the capping.
“During the time of the pandemic, we have realized the importance of good healthcare infrastructure that we should have in place. In a city like Pune, there are many government hospitals that are non-functioning. If the government is willing to do public-private partnerships in the future all the private hospitals would be willing to work with the government. The pandemic has led us all to build strong healthcare infrastructure for the future,” Bomi Bhote, CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune.