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We cannot allocate 50% beds for Covid patients: Bengaluru Private hospitals

We cannot allocate 50% beds for Covid patients: Bengaluru Private hospitals
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We cannot allocate 50% beds for Covid patients: Bengaluru Private hospitals

Highlights

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had recently issued a show-cause notice to private hospitals for violating the Karnataka government’s mandate to allocate 50 percent beds for the treatment of Covid infected

Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had recently issued a show-cause notice to private hospitals for violating the Karnataka government's mandate to allocate 50 percent beds for the treatment of Covid infected. However, the association of private medical hospitals said that it is impossible to allocate 50 percent beds due to shortage of beds to treat non-Covid patients.

The BBMP had warned that failure to comply with the same will be "viewed seriously" and action will be initiated under the relevant provisions of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020, Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, 2017 and Disaster Management Act, 2005, which include suspension of registration, fine and even imprisonment.

While the Karnataka government had ordered the private hospitals to set aside 50 percent of beds for Covid patients, only less than 20 percent of beds in private hospitals were allocated for Covid treatment.

"It is mandatory for private hospitals to allocate 50 percent of the beds for the treatment of Covid infected. But it is impossible to implement in some hospitals for various reasons. Some have not even recorded a single Covid case till date.

Even when most hospitals have vacant beds, they don't have enough staff to handle the additional requirements for treating Covid. So let them all take up pending cases of surgery and treatment related to different health issues which were on hold due to pandemic" said a doctor of a private hospital.

The Karnataka Private Medical Establishment says that hospitals have various special wards including a paediatric unit, dialysis unit, emergency department, labour ward. The beds of these units cannot be given to Covid treatment. It is impossible to allot 50 percent of the total hospital bed space only for Covid. So, it's betted BBMP reviews its order before taking action".

There are instances when patients were denied treatment for lack of beds. BBMP listed 11,000 beds across private hospitals in its real-time bed availability portal, it's estimated that only about 2,000 of these beds are in effect open to Covid patients.

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