The minister stated that out of 12,000 private hospital beds available, only around 3843 have been handed over to the government.

K Sudhakar wearing mask
news Coronavirus Monday, April 19, 2021 - 15:57

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar has asked private hospitals to discharge those who have recovered from COVID-19 and increase the number of beds available to those who are waiting to get admitted. He, once again, appealed to private hospitals to hand over 50% of beds to the government as mandated. 

The minister stated that out of 12,000 private hospital beds available, only around 3843 have been handed over to the government, and private hospitals are holding on to the rest. “In Delhi and Mumbai, the government has taken over hospitals. We don't want such a situation here, it is not a happy situation for the government,” he told private hospitals. 

On Sunday, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) sent show-cause notices to five private hospitals in Bengaluru--Columbia Asia, Fortis, Aster CMI, Vikram and Baptist hospitals-- for failing to reserve 50% of the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients under government quota. The hospitals have been given 48 hours’ time to explain why they did not comply with the order.

The notices were issued after a surprise visit to the hospitals by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner.

One of the issues reported by private hospitals in handing over beds to the government is that they already have patients admitted in the hospital. Manipal Hospitals Chairman Dr Sudharshan Ballal had told TNM that there are already several COVID-19 patients in the hospital as well as many other non-COVID-19 patients who will need to recover before they are discharged. 

Besides discharging patients who are on the path to recovery, the Health Minister also asked hospitals not to admit those without symptoms. “Doctors should verify who is eligible for admission since it will reduce the rush in hospitals,”he said.

“We have oxygen, medicine and the government will hand it over to people in need. We will support (people) in all ways and there is no need to panic. Let us all unite together and save the lives of people,” he said. 

The appeal from the Health Minister comes at a time over 94% ICU beds in Bengaluru hospitals dedicated for COVID-19 patients were occupied. Data provided by the State Department of Health and Family Welfare at 6 pm on Sunday evening said that 323 of the 341 ICU beds in Bengaluru were occupied. In all, 73% of the beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied.

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