The hospital OPDs will remain closed for 48 hours, said Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey.

police personnel and health commissioner standing near the hospital OPDTwitter / @iaspankajpandey
Coronavirus coronavirus Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 19:07

The Karnataka government on Tuesday said that the outpatient departments (OPD) of Vikram Hospital and Sagar Apollo Hospital in Bengaluru have been sealed for the next 48 hours. This comes after a team headed by Bengaluru Urban District Health Officer Dr Srinivas GA inspected the hospitals after both were alleged to have denied admission to patients as referred by the state government.

In a tweet, Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Services, said, “OPDs of Vikram Hospital and Sagar Apollo, Jayanagar have been sealed for 48 hours. It takes a coherent effort by each segment of the society to beat the pandemic. Private Hospitals should cooperate with the Government, to ensure that no COVID patient is deprived of treatment.”

He also shared a video of his conversations with reporters.

“On June 29, the state government held talks with private medical establishments. They had agreed to take in COVID-19 patients for 50% for the beds available. We have shut the OPD for 48 hours as these hospitals had taken in COVID-19 patients but they were not the ones referred to by the government. Those who are being referred by the Suvarna Arogya Trust (run by the government) are not being admitted. We have installed police personnel and if they continue to flout norms, action will be taken,” he said.

In a government notification issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar on June 23, the Karnataka government had fixed the tariff structure for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals in the state. Along with this, it was made mandatory that 50% capacity in private hospitals should be reserved for patients that are referred by the government for COVID-19 treatment.

As part of the notification dated June 23, it was said non-compliance will attract punishment under the Disaster Management Act. 

Apollo Hospitals issued a statement surrounding this development. Their statement has been carried in full.

This is to inform you that Apollo Specialty Hospital Jayanagar, Bangalore (A unit of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise limited) is dedicated for the treatment of COVID-19 patients as ‘Dedicated COVID Hospital’. It is a 100 bed facility and 50% beds are allocated for Govt referral patients only. We have operationalized 60 beds out of which 30 beds are allocated to Govt referral patients. But very fact is on the day we opened for COVID patient our hospital beds filled full in 24hrs time.

As of now we have 9 Govt. referral patients from BBMP and 40 patients are direct walk in patients with symptoms of ILI & SARI and even some are presented to hospital in very critical conditions, we have to take and treat because of clinical condition compulsion so the number looks skew towards private patients.

Against discharge we would be allotting the beds to Govt. referred Patients by BBMP as mentioned above. We are a transparent organization--you can send any staff for the verification of facts. We will always comply with the Govt. directives and regulations. We are opening up the hospital to full strength in a phased out manner as we are having an acute shortage

of staff. The entire unit of Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar has been dedicated for Covid-19 treatment, and we are operating in full capacity now. Once the existing patients get discharged, we will be able to accommodate more government referral patients, as per bed availability.

- Dr Govindaiah Yatheesh, Unit Head, Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar, Bengaluru