Mumbai: Close on the heels of show cause notices served by the state government to four leading private hospitals for denying the admission for COVID-19 patients, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has appointed Dr Gautam Bhansali, Consulting Physician at the Bombay Hospital as chief coordinator between the civic body and the private hospitals for smooth bed management. Dr Bhansali will contact all the concerned hospitals to coordinate all issues related to bed management and ensure that maximum patients get seamless and efficient services from these hospitals.
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal, who issued order on June 10, has said, ''Dr Bhansali shall remain in contact with the Director Disaster Management Department of BMC, IAS officers appointed to supervise various issues pertaining to the private hospitals. The appointment is honorary and with Dr Bhansali’s consent and his appointment will continue till further orders.''
Bhansali’s appointment is crucial as Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope personally visited few private hospitals and found that they were not complying with the state government’s 80:20 bed allocation formula. The formula envisages that the private hospitals will have to allot 80% beds to both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients at the government determined rates while they can allot and charge their own rates on the remaining 20% beds. The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week had expressed serious displeasure over the private hospital’s stand and asked BMC to put in place a special mechanism for smooth bed management.
Tope had estimated that nearly 12,000 beds will be available from the city’s private hospitals with the implementation of 80:20 bed allotment formula. However, in its absence, the BMC swung into action and started Covid War Room in the Disaster Management Department for effectively dealing with the issues arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. The war room also handles a large number of calls received on the helping line 1916 for guidance on COVID-19, providing ambulances, allotment of beds.
Further, BMC appointed IAS officers for supervising various issues pertaining to the private hospitals where 80% beds are to be allotted by the civic body through its helpline 1916 so as to streamline the process and avoid difficulties faced by COVID-19 patients in allotment of beds in hospitals.