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Month on, Ahmedabad hospitals yet to reserve beds for Covid patients

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As per April 8 notification by AMC, private hospitals in the city were supposed to reserve 50% of their beds for Covid patients. But almost a month later, they are yet to do so

Lakshmi Patel, Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) seems to have failed to walk the talk. At least that’s what its grand announcements about addition of beds for Covid treatment at private hospitals in the city indicate. Almost a month after it announced that it had requisitioned 50% beds in designated private hospitals, totalling 1,219, for Covid patients, this number remains just on paper.

As per a notification issued by municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar on April 8, AMC had requisitioned 18 private hospitals for treatment of Covid patients. These hospitals would have to reserve 50% of their beds for such patients. The cost of treatment would be as per the ceiling fixed by AMC for private Covid treatment. It later emerged that one of these hospitals did not even exist. Thus, the list was left with 17 names. At that time, most of these hospitals claimed that they already had patients and hence could not surrender 50% beds for Covid patients. They assured the AMC that they would demarcate beds as and when the then admitted patients were discharged. Most of them did not reserve even 25% of their beds.

Almost a month later, no addition has been made to the beds that had been reserved earlier.
Of the 50% beds for Covid patients, 20% were to be reserved for AMC quota, against which patients could avail free treatment. With few beds being provided for Covid patients at private hospitals, fewer are available for those who cannot afford paid treatment.

More empty promises

As cases increased, the list of designated Covid hospitals also increased, with 171 hospitals instructed to begin Covid treatment. Looking at the severity of the situation, on April 28, AMC issued another order asking the 171 hospitals to reserve 75% of their beds, higher than the earlier 50%, for Covid patients. This, it had claimed, would provide 1,000 additional beds for Covid patients.

But the situation on the ground was no different. Forget 75%, the private hospitals were yet to reserve even 50% beds.
For instance, Zydus Hospital on SG Highway has 550 beds, of which 275 were supposed to be reserved for Covid patients. At that time, the hospital had offered just 72 beds, claiming that the rest were occupied. It had assured that it would set aside beds as and when the admitted non-Covid patients were discharged. Surprisingly, even after almost a month, there is no change in the number.

KD Hospital on SG Highway has 300 beds, but has given just 122 beds for Covid treatment instead of 150. Against the targeted 156 beds at Sterling Hospital in Memnagar, only 48 are for Covid patients. Narayana Hospital in Rakhial was supposed to provide 150 beds, but has set aside just 39, while AMC got just 35 instead of 55 beds at Saviour Hospital in Navrangpura. Asian Bariatric Hospital gave 10 beds instead of 50, while Devasya Hospital reserved just eight as against 25 that it was supposed to provide.

All this information is provided by the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Associations (AHNA) on a daily basis. It gives details of number of beds available for Covid patients, including under the AMC quota.
Those in the know of things believe that these hospitals are being shielded and that it is tough to believe that they are unable to surrender 50% beds even a month after the notification. According to sources, the major bottleneck is AMC’s failure to announce a policy for admission to reserved beds at these private hospitals.

50% beds, but where are they?

Designated hospital Total beds  Beds to be reserved Beds actually reserved
Zydus 550 275 72
KD Hospital 300 150 122
Sterling, Memnagar 312 156 48
Narayana, Rakhial 300 150 39
Saviour, Navrangpura 110 55 35
Asian Bariatric 100 50 10
Devasya 50 25 8

Hospitals that are yet to reserve 50% beds for Covid patients

 

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