Starting Thursday, BMC has barred nursing homes and maternity homes in the city from admitting Covid-19 patients henceforth. The decision was taken after it was pointed out that small private hospitals have been largely responsible for high death rates in the city.
The BMC diktat will cover 73 nursing homes. The civic body has already asked the ward level war rooms responsible for alloting beds to covid patients to remove these nursing homes and maternity homes from the daily dashboards. The war rooms have been alerted to not to allot beds to covid patients in these 73 hospitals.
Mumbai’s mortality rate for a long time is stuck at 5.4 to 5.5 per cent, which is higher than the state’s 3.35 per cent and the country’s 1.91 per cent mortality rate. The city’s every other indicator has shown significant improvement in the past two months --- doubling rate of infection is 90 days, recovery rate 80 per cent and growth rate over the last week has been 0.78 per cent.
According to the audit conducted by the civic body's covid task force of the deaths occured due to covid-19, it was found that the private hospitals have contributed 41 per cent of the city’s total deaths so far this month alone. Alarmed by this, the civic body decided to shortlist 10 hospitals with high death cases every week and review their line of treatment and protocol followed by them. The civic body held a meeting on Monday headed by the Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, other civic officials members of the task force with representatives of top 15 private hospitals. "During the discussion, we came to the conclusion that most of these deaths have either occurred at smaller nursing homes / maternity homes we had acquired to accommodate covid patients during the initial months when pandemic hit us or involved critical patients referred by them to bigger hospitals. The issue got tricky and has been continuously contributing to a high death rate. The move will help bring down deaths," said Chahal.
While the nursing homes have been allowed to continue treating patients currently admitted with them, they have been asked to feel free to refer them either to the closest BMC-run jumbo facility or one of the listed 33 major private hospitals.
"These Nursing homes / maternity homes have been under BMC’s scanner for some time now. During the meeting it was pointed out that an overwhelming majority of patients arriving at major government-run and private hospitals in a serious condition were all from small nursing homes. And nearly in every case, the Task Force observed that either the nursing home botched up treatment or it took too long to refer the patient to a bigger hospital and not followed the protocol stipulated by ICMR and the civic body. The move will also make these beds available for non covid patients," said Kakani Additional Municipal Commissioner.