EXEMPTION PLEA – Compulsory power cut to hit healthcare services

The three-hour compulsory power cut introduced in the city from Thursday rattled the healthcare providers, prompting pleas and protests to exempt hospitals with an undertone of surge in patients’ expenses otherwise.

Authorities at the staterun Sassoon General Hospital requested higher-ups to exempt it in view of the huge patient load it caters to everyday, while smaller private hospitals have decided to fight tooth and nail against the move. The big hospitals stressed the additional cost incurred on running generators for three hours every day would increase the healthcare cost.

“The power cut in snatches will affect our emergency work and patient-care services will take a beating.Hence, we have requested our higher-ups to make efforts to exempt Sasso d on hospital from the daily load shedding ordeal,“ said senior spine surgeon Ajay Chandanwale, the dean of B J Medical College attached to Sassoon General Hospital.

Sassoon hospital has 29 operation theatres and every day around 180 different types of surgeries are performed. Besides, there are 123 beds in different types of intensive care units collectively having 61 ventilators and they are always occupied.

Every year, over seven lakh patients avail healthcare services at Sassoon hospital and over 70,000 hospitalized patients avail indoor healthcare services.

Praveen Shingare, the director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) that oversees the work of 16 governmentrun medical colleges attached to hospitals in Maharashtra, said, “We have asked the respective deans of all our medical colleges to approach the local authorities concerned for exemption.Besides, we are also trying to bring this issue to the notice of Union power minister to avail the exemptions for our hospitals and medical colleges.“

Bomi Bhote, the president of Association of Private Hospitals in Pune, said, “It is unfair on hospitals because they are completely dependent on power for various life-saving procedures and running life-saving equipment. Smaller hospitals without uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and generators will have no option but to shut down. Those hospitals which have UPS and generators will always be under stress because if backups fail it may lead to loss of life.“

Bhote said, “Big hospitals will incur additional cost for running generator, which will eventually have to be passed on to the patients by increasing the healthcare expenses.“

Source : TOI

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