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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Some hospitals asking for money to give beds, won’t allow black marketeering: Delhi CM

Previously, the Delhi government had asked private hospitals in the city with a bed capacity of 50 or more beds to reserve 20% of their total capacity for Covid patients.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
Updated: June 7, 2020 3:08:52 am
“You will not be spared. You will have to take coronavirus patients who are coming to the hospital for treatment. Giving treatment to patients is non-negotiable,” Kejriwal said.

In a sharp indictment of some private hospitals in the capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, without naming any particular institute, said they were “lying” about the number of beds available for Covid patients and refusing them treatment. Issuing the stern warning, Kejriwal invoked words such as “black marketeering” and “mafia” and said some hospitals were exploiting their links with political parties.

The government, he said, will now deploy medical professionals in each private hospital to ensure patients are aware of the availability of beds and are admitted “without any hassles”.

“You will not be spared. You will have to take coronavirus patients who are coming to the hospital for treatment. Giving treatment to patients is non-negotiable,” he said, addressing a virtual press briefing on Saturday.

Blaming some hospitals for “black marketeering” of beds, he said they were asking for a huge sum of money from Covid patients for reserving beds.

Previously, the Delhi government had asked private hospitals in the city with a bed capacity of 50 or more beds to reserve 20% of their total capacity for Covid patients.

“A few days ago, a person came to me and informed me that he was denied a bed by a private hospital, and after many requests, they gave him admission after charging him Rs 2 lakh for admission… I am not saying all private hospitals are bad. Private hospitals in the city have played an important role in our battle against coronavirus. But there are some hospitals which are asking for money from patients to provide them a bed. This is called black marketeering of beds and we will not allow it. On Friday, we met the owners of 33 private hospitals and the meeting with others will continue today. If you have an issue in reserving 20% beds for Covid patients, then you have the option of converting into a dedicated Covid hospital,” he said.

Delhi recorded 1,320 fresh Covid cases on Saturday, taking the tally in the city to 27,654. The number of deaths due to the disease has touched 761. Last week, the government launched a mobile app which gives real-time information about the availability of beds and ventilators in each hospital.

On Saturday, the CM said that there had been backlash over the sharing of information. “After the launch of the app on Tuesday, we received a major backlash for our intent to give out the information. Now, people know that if a hospital is denying a bed in case of an emergency, they must be lying because they can access the app and know how many beds are still vacant in that particular hospital. Also, we are not updating the app ourselves. The hospitals are updating their beds status on the backend of the app, and still lying about their availability to the people. They have the passwords. It will take some time to bust the whole mafia behind this,” he said.

He also alleged that hospitals were not toeing the line because they had “contacts” in political parties. “Some hospitals have become too powerful. They are not heeding protocol. They have contacts in other political parties. I want to warn these hospitals and tell them that your hospitals were established for the service of the people and not to earn money. Where most of the hospitals are serving the people during this pandemic, I want to warn these few hospitals who are indulging in these malpractices on the instructions of their contacts in other parties, that they will not be spared,” he said.

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“I have been seeing some videos on social media where people are still finding it difficult to locate vacant beds. I want to appeal to them to please give me some time and if the hospitals continue to have the same approach towards people, strict action will be taken,” he said.

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