Demand of COVID-19 beds at the major private hospitals has increased due to the surge in the daily covid-19 cases in the last two weeks following which there is a 24 hours waiting period to get admitted. Meanwhile, as per the civic body dashboard more than 80 per cent of covid beds in the city lying, of which only 10-15 per cent of them need hospitalisation.
Officials said due to the floating population of the patients beds are not vacant and they are getting mild to moderately symptomatic patients who are being discharged in three days. Meanwhile the hospital authorities have now decided to follow new home isolation guidelines issued by the civic body on January 6.
“We are seeing a huge demand for beds and trying to meet the commitment we have made but there are challenges. One of the challenges is the demand is more than the resources we have right now. We are not in the position to meet everyone’s demand for beds right now,” said Joy Chakraborty, the chief operating officer, PD Hinduja Hospital. He said they are trying to keep the waiting period less than 24 hours. “Non-COVID work is coming down and we are diverting our resources for COVID,” he added.
Recently, the civic body directed all the private hospital that 80% of the total beds and 100% ICU beds shall be kept reserved for COVID-19 patients, as per the rule earlier. Moreover no asymptomatic patient without comorbidity be alloted beds in private hospitals, and that discharge period for asymptomatic patients shall be three days, down from the earlier seven days period. The circular also warned hospitals against overcharging patients failing to which action shall be taken under the Epidemic, Act 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Senior doctor from the private hospital said most of the patients are from higher society, following which they want beds at private hospitals which led to a shortage and needy patients have to be on a waiting list. “The main reason for beds not being vacant as most of the patients are moderately symptomatic following which they need to be hospitalised due to which there is a floating population of patients. However the patients are discharged in three to four days after their reports are negative but due to a surge in cases beds are full and we have to keep the patient on standby,” he said.
Considering the fact that approximately 10-12 per cent patients are symptomatic everyday, the requirement of hospital beds is likely to increase sharply now. Since more than 95 per cent cases are being detected from non-slum areas, there is tremendous demand for seeking beds in private hospitals. Patients are reluctant to go to Covid jumbo hospitals and BMC hospitals.
“It has come to a notice that symptomatic Covid patients are pointing out the need for Covid beds in private hospitals. Therefore, all private hospitals are hereby directed that they shall immediately spruce up the number of Covid beds to the highest level which existed during the peak of the second wave in 2021,” said a senior civic official.
Jitendra Haryan , CEO Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre said as Mumbai reports a high-rise of COVID cases, there is a surge in demand for beds and other facilities at private hospitals. Moreover they have a separate wing called 'Jaslok Annex' where we have four designated floors for Covid patients, keeping high quality patient care with utmost safety in priority for COVID and non COVID patients. Looking at the current situation they have also allocated additional wards for Covid patients.
“There has been an increase in admission of COVID patients especially in wards. Fortunately we have witnessed shorter stay of COVID patients compared to the second wave. Along with that most of the COVID patients are are either isolated at home and have mild symptoms. If the patient needs admission due to symptoms, age, comorbidities or various other reasons, we admit them and offer them counselling as well. Patients with mild symptoms are opting for home isolation packages provided by Jaslok Hospital which include virtual consultations by our specialists nutritional assessment and guidance, psychological counseling , covid care kit,” he said.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)