After 80 members of the medical staff turned in their resignations on Saturday, Lifeline, the private agency appointed to manage the jumbo COVID facility on the College of Engineering Pune’s (CoEP) grounds has decided to back out of running the hospital. The company has made its inability to run the hospital clear, due to the “intense political pressure and drama” that the hospital has dealt with within the first couple of weeks of its functioning.
Sujit Patker, the director of Lifeline, said that the medical personnel employed had resigned as they feared for their safety after a few workers of political parties had gatecrashed the facility and had threatened and abused them. “Instead of allowing them to focus on the treatment of Covid-19 patients, their attention is being diverted toward non-issues,” he said. Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said that Lifeline had not been able to provide adequate staff to run the hospital, forcing the administration to tie-up with two other private agencies, who would provide 100 to 200 medical personnel, including doctors and nurses. Patker denied these claims, insisting that adequate staff was provided and more people were being recruited until political leaders started abusing and threatening staffers. He said, “Some resigned one day after joining, some refused to join. Nobody wanted to work under intense political pressure.”
Since the first day of its opening, the CoEP jumbo facility has been facing problems. The facility saw a huge influx of patients shifted from other hospitals right at the start, affecting the functioning capacity of the hospital.
Pune recorded its highest single-day spike on September 6, with 4,447 new cases and 80 deaths, taking the total case count close to 1,93,00 cases and 4,575 deaths. The city has as many as 74 containment zones, which house nearly 5.25 lakh residents.