Over the last few weeks, Karnataka and especially its capital city Bengaluru has been witnessing a fierce second wave of COVID-19 infections, with Bengaluru reporting 26,756 new cases on Friday alone. Amid the surge, several hospitals in Bengaluru are reporting a shortage of beds. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike had set up a dashboard with details such as number positive cases and beds and oxygens available in government-run hospitals. Until recently, there was no similar portal for private-run hospitals, and patients were forced to scramble to look for beds in private institutions.
The Private Hospital and Nursing Association (PHANA) had announced last week that it will launch a similar portal to make the availability of beds in private hospitals more transparent. After hitting a few technical snags, PHANA confirmed to TNM that the portal, âSearch My Bedâ, will go live on Monday, May 3. The portal will contain the name, contact information and locations of hospitals, as well as the number of beds available. Based on this, those in need can contact the hospital and confirm a bed for themselves. This service can only be accessed in Bengaluru for the time being and will be expanded to other parts of Karnataka if the need arises, Dr Prasanna, President of PHANA, told TNM.
The âSearch My Bedâ portal will not be centralised like the BBMPâs dashboard, Dr Prasanna further added. âPHANA will not allocate any beds. It is an open platform where hospitals can be registered, and patients will have to coordinate with hospitals themselves. We will not allocate beds like the BBMP,â he pointed out.
A dedicated group of volunteers has been working to register hospitals in Bengaluru for the portal. There are about 500 hospitals registered under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, and they will all likely have to register themselves on the PHANAâs portal. âThe government might pass an order soon, asking all private hospitals to join the portal,â Dr Prasanna said.