Private hospitals to reserve 20% of beds for COVID-19 patients

This’ll be scaled up to 40%, if cases rise

In the backdrop of cases and deaths rising, the civic body has decided that 20% of beds in all private medical establishments will be reserved for patients referred by the government or the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

This will later be scaled up to 40%, should the trend continue. The State government issued an order to this effect on Sunday.

The BBMP has already held two rounds of meetings with the private medical establishments to discuss bed allocation. When the cases had peaked last year, 50% of the beds in private medical establishments were reserved for patients referred by the civic body. This was scaled back when the case load dropped.

However with a fierce second wave, officials are taking no chances. BBMP’s Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the scaling up of the number of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients will be done in a phased manner. “This is part of the anticipatory effort,” he said. The civic body has already opened two COVID-19 Care Centres at HAL and Haj Bhavan, while another one at Koramangala Indoor Stadium will be operational soon.

Prasanna H.M., president-elect, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (PHANA), pointed out that though the number of people requiring admission is less when compared to last year, beds in many private medical facilities were filling up. “We are ready to allocate up to 40% if the need arises,” he said. The BBMP has started receiving proposals from various residents’ welfare associations (RWA), apartment complexes, and multi-dwelling units for vaccination sites.

Several private medical establishments have also evinced interest in tying up with these communities, said P. Rajendra Cholan, BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Health).

He said the civic body is mapping all the apartment complexes, RWAs, and medical establishments they have tied up with to ascertain the proximity to the BBMP’s cold chain points.

He added that there was a clear definition of a sub-centre where a vaccination site could be established.

“Each centre should have a team of medical professionals to administer the vaccine and staff to take citizens through the registration and verification process, as well as adequate infrastructure.”

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