Pimpri Chinchwad: On Tuesday, Kashinath Baburao Kale, a security guard and contract worker at Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) suffering from Coronavirus, passed away due to unavailability of ICU beds in the hospital.
In a press statement issued in this context, SWaCH (collective of self-employed waste pickers) noted that Kale was advised to be admitted in an ICU after being diagnosed positive for coronavirus due to his history of Asthma, ongoing medication for hypertension and a history of Tuberculosis from 20 years ago.
Despite of being diagnosed in time, availability of money required for the treatment as well as health insurance, his family could not avail him an ICU bed. Kale lost his life on July 10 as he could not get a timely treatment due to unavailability of the beds.
“Kashinath did not die because he lacked health insurance. He did not die because his family could not raise funds. He did not die because he was diagnosed too late. Nor did he die because of insufficient health history. He had insurance. His concerned family brought him to the health care system well in time, and all his medical history was shared with the treatment teams to enable optimal care,” the statement read.
Shrenik Mutha, working for SWaCH said that according to the govt. Rules, the hospital was liable to search and arrange an ICU bed for Kale’s treatment.
“When we checked on the COVID Care Software – Pune Division website, on July 9, we could see the availability of beds. We could see that there were beds available on the website, but several hospitals kept denying.
After we contacted officials from Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MPJAY) in Mumbai, Kale was finally offered a last available bed at Sparsh Hospital on July 10.
The hospital further demanded a deposit of Rs 2 lakh for the bed, and the family deposited Rs 20,000. However, Kale passed away while he was being shifted to the facility,” Mutha said.
“Why did the hospital not intervene, despite Kale being a high-risk patient? He should have had a better chance to fight the deadly disease,” he added.