Updated: April 4, 2021 10:09:12 pm
The BMC on Sunday said that there was no shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients in Mumbai, and an impression of shortage was being created because people were requesting for beds in specific hospitals and refusing to go to the civic body’s Covid care facilities.
Officials said that ward war rooms and assistant municipal commissioners were getting several requests from families of Covid-19 patients to provide beds in specific hospitals, and this was leading to problems in bed allocations and deterioration of health of some symptomatic patients.
Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal said that enough beds were available, but people were waiting to get admitted to hospitals of their choice.
“Citizens should not wait for hospitalisation as per their choice of hospital, they should occupy beds wherever available for immediate treatment if they are symptomatic as the treatment protocol is similar everywhere and well established now,” said Chahal. “Patients are becoming critical by waiting for their choice of hospitals.”
As per the guidelines, beds are allotted through war rooms set up in all 24 local wards. No patient can be directly admitted in private as well as BMC and government-run hospitals. The BMC has said that the number of beds has been increased from 12,906 to 15,971.
“We have enough beds in our Covid centres. But I get many calls every day seeking beds in Hinduja Hospital or Raheja Hospital. These hospitals have a waiting period for beds. When our team from the war room requests them to go to civic Covid care centres, they refuse and keep waiting,” said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, G-North (Dadar, Dharavi, Mahim).
The BMC said that in the last seven days, additional 3,000 beds (dedicated Covid health centres and Covid hospitals) have been operationalised. This includes 400 ICU beds.
Another ward officer said that due to reluctance, many patients’ condition starts deteriorating. “People call and ask if a bed is available in a particular hospital. If there is a waiting period, they remain in home isolation. In some cases, the patients’ condition worsens,” said Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, D ward (Malabar Hill, Grant Road).
“If a patient is symptomatic, we insist on patients getting admitted immediately,” he said.
In D ward, most patients ask for beds in Breach Candy Hospital and Jaslok Hospital.
According to officials, in the last seven days, 30 Covid care centres (CCC2) having capacity of 4,600 for asymptomatic positive patients have been operationalized. Another 18,300 CCC2 beds are available in reserve and can be made functional when required.
In Ghatkopar, most patients ask for beds in Hindusabha Hospital, Godrej and Fortis Hospital. “In many cases, patients do not require ICU beds or ventilators but insist on such facilities. Doctors from war rooms decide after assessing the condition of the patients what kind of treatment they require,” said Ajitkumar Ambi, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, N ward (Ghatkopar).
BJP corporator Vinod Mishra said, “BMC-run Covid centres do not have proper facilities, and in the past they had high death rates. Patients’ relatives are scared due to this. I have requested the municipal commissioner to increase beds in BMC’s medical colleges.”
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