The Association of Healthcare Providers of (India) (AHPI) has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against the Delhi government’s plea to reverse the Delhi High Court stay on reserving 80% ICU beds in 37 private hospitals in the city for Covid-19 patients. The Delhi government Wednesday submitted its plea in apex court.
Dr Girdhar Gyani, director of AHPI, told The Indian Express, “The 37 hospitals identified by the government provide quality care to patients from all over the country. The government can identify other private hospitals which do not offer such a wide range of facilities to the patients. There are 900 private hospitals in the city…”
As per Delhi government’s Corona App, of the 1,246 ICU beds with ventilators, 889 (71%) are occupied. Top private hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo, Max Shalimar Bagh, BLK, Fortis Vasant Kunj, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute are already full.
With critical care facilities running full in the private hospitals, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, “Almost eight months into the pandemic, we have learnt that there is not much need for the ventilator, however, the critical care facilities are required in which high flow nasal oxygen is given to the patient. ICU beds are available in government hospitals, but the availability is low in some private hospitals…”
In its petition filed to the Delhi High Court, the association stated that non-Covid patients constitute 45% to 55% of all admissions in private hospitals in Delhi. “If we block 80% of the ICU beds for Covid-19 patients, more people will die than those who will be passing away due to Covid-19. This is the failure of the government in the public health system,” said Gyani.
While critical care facilities are occupied at private hospitals, beds are still available in some of the government-run hospitals. For instance, 197 out of the 200 ICU beds with ventilators are vacant at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.
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