COVID-19: Karnataka takes over 75% beds in private medical college hospitals

The government had issued a notification to private hospitals to reserve 50% of beds for government-referred patients on April 7, and has increased this to 75% now.
COVID-19 beds
COVID-19 beds
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The Karnataka government on Saturday issued a notification which stated that 75% of beds in private medical college hospitals, having facilities to treat COVID-19 patients, has to be reserved for the treatment of COVID-19 patients referred by the government. The 75% of beds include High Dependency Units (HDU), Intensive Care Units (ICU) with and beds without ventilators.

This comes in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. The government had earlier announced that 90% of beds in private hospitals have to be reserved for  government-referred patients. However, private hospitals opposed this move, and on April 25 (Sunday), Health Minister Sudhakar in a press conference said that this will be reduced to 75%.

According to government notifications in effect, the price under the government quota for COVID-19 beds varies from Rs 5,200 to Rs 10,000 per day. The price is higher for patients who get treated at a private hospital directly.

Despite the earlier notification on reservation of beds, several private hospitals had failed to comply. In the past week, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had issued notices to 66 hospitals in Bengaluru for failure to comply with the government order. The list of hospitals that received notices included reputed ones such as Apollo, Fortis (Bannerghatta, Nagarbhavi, Rajajinagar), Narayana Hrudayalaya, Manipal Hospital and Vikram Hospital.

The BBMP commissioner on Saturday visited three private hospitals in Bengaluru — Vikram Hospital, Shifaa Hospital and HBS Hospital — and issued showcause notices for failure to comply with the government order of reserving 50% of beds for government-referred COVID-19 patients. Vikram Hospital has received the notice twice.

The state and Bengaluru have been recording the highest number of COVID-19 cases each passing day. On April 23 and April 24 Karnataka reported 26,962 and 29,438 cases respectively. Bengaluru meanwhile reported 16,662 and 17,342 cases on April 23 and April 24 respectively. Bengaluru reported a huge spike in the number of deaths with a total of 147 on April 24.

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