Pune: Senior officials remain engaged in meetings; citizens scramble for answers
Pune: Senior officials remain engaged in meetings; citizens scramble for answers

Pune: Whether it is the Deputy Director of Health in Pune, the District Health Officer the District Surgeon or the Municipal Health Officer -- everyone seems to be engaged in 'meetings'. Citizens, however, find themselves stuck in the maelstrom of basic questions about COVID-19 -- including where to get tested, where to get a bed, how will the bill be in a private hospital... So, perhaps it is time for senior health officials to visit the field and instead of attending 'meetings'.

Five months after the COVID-19 pandemic was announced, the citizens in Pune are still scrambling for basic questions such as investigation, testing and getting beds.

The basic questions about COVID-19 remain unanswered. This shows that the health department has failed to address or alleviate the problem. However, senior health officials in Pune are busy playing 'meeting'.

It is necessary to hold a meeting to resolve the issue of coronavirus and exchange information, thereby making decisions in the interest of the citizens.

While these decisions may be made, it is also the responsibility of the health department to ensure that proper implementation takes place on the ground level. But this is where senior health officials fall short.

Citizens, on the other hand, are being squeezed out of hospital bills. No senior health official has so far reached the test centre, COVID centre, hospital to see what problems the citizens face on the field, whether they are being tested, whether they are getting beds and other benefits.

These officers appear to be satisfied with what the field staff or officers report. The same information is submitted to Maharashtra's state government. 

During the last swine flu outbreak, the Sassoon administration of the renowned BJ Medical College in Pune had set an example not only in the state but also in India on how to manage patients. However, the dean, deputy dean and department head this time appear to be busy in meetings. Ample of patients undergoing treatment at Sassoon are also relying on resident doctors.

Private hospitals took advantage of the inconsistency

Corporate and private hospitals have taken full advantage of the chaos and incoherence in the health sector. They have also been freed by collecting a bill of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh from a single patient for ten days of treatment. There is a situation where ordinary people do not get beds without pouring fifty thousand to one lakh rupees. The health department and the district administration, however, are busy sending notices to them.

Confusion in academia 

Officials say we are busy looking at bed management as well as arithmetic. But that is not the case. The report of Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and their joint District Health Officer also shows that sometimes there is a difference in land and sky. Perhaps it is time to dump such a series of meetings and move on.

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