Pune’s Growing Status as a Medical Hub Strains Healthcare Infrastructure

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Pune, 16th May 2024: Pune, renowned as a key metropolis in Maharashtra after Mumbai, stands out for its thriving information technology (IT) and automobile industries. Recently, it has gained recognition as a medical hub, particularly with a surge in patients seeking treatment due to the pandemic. Consequently, Pune’s medical infrastructure is under strain.

The city boasts four major public hospitals: Sassoon General Hospital, Aundh Government Hospital (under the Government of Maharashtra Public Health Department), Kamla Nehru Hospital (under the Pune Municipal Corporation), and Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation). Rural areas also have government hospitals. Complementing these are approximately 780 private hospitals spread across the city and district, offering a total of 18,900 general beds, 2,500 intensive care beds, and 800 beds with ventilator support.

Pune Municipal Medical College and Kamala Nehru Hospital collaborate in patient care, with their joint intensive care unit accommodating 17 beds and admitting five to eight patients daily. Aundh Government Hospital provides a comprehensive 300-bed facility across all departments.

During the pandemic, Pune saw an influx of patients from rural areas, cities, and western Maharashtra, overwhelming the Maharashtra State Government’s health system. Compounded by the city’s burgeoning population and inadequate facilities in rural hospitals, Pune’s healthcare institutions are stretched beyond capacity.

Not only is there a strain on healthcare, but also a strain on general infrastructure. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated approximately 2,650 houses in Wadgaon Sheri, Hadapsar, and Kharadi under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. However, there exists a significant disparity between the available houses under this scheme and the number of applications received, prompting citizens to call for an expansion of the program.

Beneficiaries have been identified for 938 houses in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area. Additionally, the Zilla Parishad has approved around 15,000 houses in the district’s rural areas, with over 11,000 already constructed. Moreover, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), 19,000 individuals have been granted permission to build their own houses on their land.

In infrastructure development, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has facilitated the construction of 1,573 km of roads in the district. Pune district enjoys connectivity to Mumbai and neighboring areas via road and rail networks, comprising expressways, national highways, state highways, and main district roads. The district boasts a total road length of 13,642 km, including 331 km of national highways and 1,368 km of state highways. However, the condition of district roads, apart from national highways and to some extent state highways, leaves much to be desired.