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Release private hospital beds set aside for govt-referred patients

With a minimal hospitalisation rate in the third wave that is showing a declining trend, the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) has written to the Government seeking release of private hospital beds set aside for Government-referred patients.

On January 4, the State Government directed private hospitals to set aside 50% of their beds for government referred COVID-19 patients. PHANA president H.M. Prasanna said that nearly 10,000 beds in private hospitals had been set aside for Government patients.

“However, not more than 30 patients have been referred by the Government to private hospitals in Bengaluru. These notified beds are not earning any revenue and maintenance of these beds has been a huge financial burden on the private sector. At the same time, requirement and demand for non-COVID admissions are rising by the day,” Dr. Prasanna said.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary, he assured that if there is any eventual reversal of trend in COVID admissions, PHANA will make beds available for Government allocation within five to seven days.

“In the first week of January, we had set aside 50% of beds in private hospitals and nursing homes for Government-referred patients following instructions from the Government. As we have seen since last one month, the hospitalisation rate is very low and all these beds are lying unused,” he said.

The doctor said he will meet Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar soon.

Ever since the third wave began in the State, hospitalisations have remained below 5,000 on any given day. The daily new cases have fallen from 50,210 on January 23 to 4,452 on February 8. The test positivity rate (TPR) has plummeted from 22.9% on January 21 to 5.01% on February 8. Besides, active cases have also dropped from 3.6 lakh on January 24 to 72,414 on February 8.

Hospitalisation rate has also declined from 5% to 6% in the first week of January to around 2% in the first week of February.

As of Tuesday, the State had 3,059 active admissions. Of these, 1,199 admissions were private walk-in patients.

While 136 patients were on ventilators (nine in private hospitals) and 435 occupied ICU beds (including 171 in private hospitals), 660 patients occupied oxygen/high dependency unit (HDU) beds and the remaining general wards.

The State’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is also of the opinion that there is no need for reservation of private hospitals beds for government referrals. The Hindu

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