Private hospital doctors say govt should increase ICU beds to tackle Covid cases

Private hospital doctors say govt should increase ICU beds to tackle Covid cases
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Private hospital doctors say govt should increase ICU beds to tackle Covid cases

Highlights

Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Medical Director of Ace Multi-Speciality Hospital, has stated that there are not enough ICUs beds in the State for Covid-19 patients who need emergency service

Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Medical Director of Ace Multi-Speciality Hospital, has stated that there are not enough ICUs beds in the State for Covid-19 patients who need emergency service. He has called for urgent steps to scale up ICU beds in view of rising positive cases.

"Since the government has not yet started vaccinating people below 50 years of age a larger number of the population is at risk of contracting coronavirus. Though we say the society has developed herd immunity, the risk of contracting the virus still exists. It is important to be prepared for possible second wave. So the government must make all the arrangements to manage Covid caseload during the second wave. It must ensure everyone receives adequate care whenever they require," he said.

According to him the major drawback of the government's bed reservation system is that the government does not pay the hospitals on time.

Last year, the government mandated reservation of 50 percent of beds by private hospitals for patients referred by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The move was opposed by several hospitals. "It would be a good idea if the government designates some hospitals for treatment of Covid patients and some hospitals as non-Covid hospitals. Hospitals will have to bear high expenses to support the government in managing the Covid case burden.

Hospitals are already in a very bad condition financially. When the government takes a longer time to reimburse expenses, it increases financial burden on hospitals and puts them in a weaker position to manage the crisis," Hiremath explained. Dr Prasanna, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said that the private hospitals would be ready to give 50% beds but requested the government to take the beds in a structured way as and when required. He suggested that the hospitals below 50 beds should not be asked to reserve beds.

Prasanna stated that medical college beds followed by corporate chain hospitals and then hospitals above 100 beds and 50 beds should be touched. Dr Aravinda G M, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospitals, Jayanagar, said that the hospitals are better equipped to tackle the second wave of Covid. "Since most of our staff have completed the second dose of vaccination, psychologically and physically they are more confident than they were last year. Hospitals have better infrastructure facilities this year since they have been managing Covid patients for the last one year. We have better and faster diagnostic facilities as there are more number of diagnostic labs available this time," he said.

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