KARNATAKA’S Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare Services has issued a show cause notice to 18 private and public hospitals in Bengaluru for refusing treatment to a 52-year-old, who later died of influenza-like illness symptoms.
The notice was issued after reports indicated that Bhawarlal Sujani could not get admission at various hospitals through June 27 and 28. The hospitals, including major ones like Bowring, Fortis and Manipal, have been told to get back within 24 hours on why action should not be initiated against them, including under the State Disaster Management Act.
The notice, by Commisioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey, says Sujani “succumbed due to denial of admission by 18 hospitals… His son Vikram Jain and nephew Dinesh have stated that Sri Bhawarlal was taken to these hospitals on Saturday and Sunday for admission on observing some ILI-like symptoms. But none of the hospitals admitted on the pretext of unavailability of beds/ventilators.” The notice underlines that private medical establishments “cannot deny/refuse/avoid treatment to patients with Covid 19 and Covid 19-like symptoms”.
As per the SOP for coronavirus in Karnataka, people with ILI symptoms are to be treated as suspected cases and tested.
Bengaluru is seeing a sudden surge in cases, especially since the beginning of June, resulting in a heavy demand for beds. The nearly 100 ICU beds in government hospitals and medical colleges are currently full, and the government has been trying to get private hospitals to dedicate 50 per cent of their beds for Covid 19 patients referred by it.
On June 27, it had issued a warning to them for denying admission to coronavirus cases.
The Karnataka government has prescribed amounts ranging between Rs 5,200 per day for a general bed and Rs 10,000 for an ICU with a ventilator, for patients referred by it to private hospitals. For patients reaching private hospitals on own, the ceiling has been set at Rs 10,000 for a general ward and Rs 25,000 for an ICU with a ventilator. However, in the case of patients who report directly to private hospitals and have a private insurance cover, there is no ceiling. Health officials say private hospitals are favouring patients with private insurance.
As per official data, of the 1,619 beds in the private sector for Covid 19 cases, only 418 were full between June 1 and June 28.
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