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More poor availing beds in pvt hospitals: Delhi govt

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New Delhi: Occupancy of beds reserved for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in private hospitals have gone up to 75 per cent from the earlier 30-35 per cent, Delhi government said today.

Of the 641 beds in these hospitals, almost 480 beds have been utilised after the government began deploying Patient Welfare Officers at the hospitals from May 1, health department officials said.

Delhi Health Minister, Satyendra Jain had in March directed government hospitals to refer their patients to private hospitals.


The health department later deployed Patient Welfare Officers in private hospitals to identify and facilitate EWS patients.

According to health department statistics, there are a total of 641 EWS beds in 42 private hospitals, and occupancy was then less than 30-35 per cent.

“We did a review of status of beds reserved for EWS in private hospitals and found most of the beds are lying vacant. So we started referring patients of government hospitals to private hospitals and deployed Patient Welfare Officers to facilitate EWS patients,” a senior official said.

“Out of 641 beds almost 480 beds are now full. This is result of deployment of PWOs and we expect the number to rise further,” official said, claiming the occupancy has gone up to 75 per cent.

The Department also claimed that they have seen a rise in occupancy at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital which has 239 beds reserved for EWS for free treatment.

“Earlier occupancy in Apollo hospital was 8 per cent but even it has gone up to 25 per cent. Government is planning to open pharmacy for EWS category so that they can avail more benefit,” official said.

On the Patient Welfare Officers, the officials said they will be manning help-desks, identifying EWS patients and facilitating their referral while also assisting the public in getting information on health services.

Government is also trying to enforce online updation of status of beds reserved for EWS so that monitoring the referral of eligible patients for free treatment from government hospitals to identified private hospitals can be eased.