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    Bengaluru’s private hospitals say 50:50 bed-sharing formula not practical

    Synopsis

    “We will take any Covid patient, referred by the government as well as those who approach us directly seeking treatment. But with just 3,000 beds available in private hospitals to treat Covid patients in Bengaluru, bed-sharing formula on a 50:50 basis will not work,” R Ravindra, president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, told ET.

    ANI
    According to the private hospitals association, about 11,000 beds are available in various private hospitals in the capital.
    Bengaluru: Private hospitals in Karnataka have told the state government that following its directive to reserve 50% of the Covid-19 treatment beds for government-referred patients will not be practical as there aren’t enough beds.

    “We will take any Covid patient, referred by the government as well as those who approach us directly seeking treatment. But with just 3,000 beds available in private hospitals to treat Covid patients in Bengaluru, bed-sharing formula on a 50:50 basis will not work,” R Ravindra, president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, told ET. “We have communicated the same to the government.”

    On June 23, the state government issued a notification fixing a cap on Covid treatment in private hospitals. In the notification, the chief secretary asked private hospitals to reserve 50% of the beds having Covid treatment facility for patients referred by the public health authorities.

    The government said it would bear the cost of treatment for this category of patients under the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha scheme. It added that private hospitals are free to take in patients who are willing to pay for treatment on their own or through private insurance for the remaining beds.

    The decision, according to health officials, is to ensure that no poor patient is denied treatment in private hospitals or is charged exorbitantly.

    After a meeting with private hospital managements on Wednesday, state medical education minister K Sudhakar said that private hospitals have agreed to set aside 3,000 beds to treat Covid patients in Bengaluru. He said that as on Wednesday, private hospitals had given just 147 beds to treat Covid patients.

    Sudhakar’s meeting came 10 days after chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s meeting with hospital management. On June 28, Yediyurappa had said that private hospitals have agreed to allot 2,500 beds to treat Covid patients. However, there was no mention of private hospitals agreeing to keep 50% of beds for patients referred by the government.

    In contrast to the medical education minister’s statement that private hospitals had admitted only 147 Covid patients, Ravindra said Covid patients were treated in 1,554 beds of private hospitals in Bengaluru. “There seems to be some miscommunication,” he said.

    According to the private hospitals association, about 11,000 beds are available in various private hospitals in the capital. Of these, 3,000 beds are reserved to treat Covid patients, while the remaining will continue to be used for treatment of non-Covid patients. “At present, 3,000 is the maximum number we can give to treat Covid patients,” Ravindra said.

    Meanwhile, hospital owners have asked the government to come up with a command centre to allot beds and triage all patients through the system. “It will sort out some confusion in bed allotment,” Ravindra said.
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