With the country’s financial capital continuing to break records in Coronavirus cases every day, city hospitals are struggling with a shortage of beds. A rising number of patients are complaining of long waits for ICU and oxygen beds. As per BMC data, there are only 88 ICU beds available in the city hospitals that include both private and public hospitals.
The BMC data shows that presently, there are 1321 critical patients admitted in the ICUs of the city hospitals. Overall, the city has 1417 ICU beds. While speaking to FPJ, senior officials from various private hospitals in the city said that they have 20-25 patients in the waiting list and most of their ICU beds are filled.
While the doctors are attributing the rise of COVID-19 cases as a possible second wave and have expressed their concern, BMC officials are denying it saying the shortage of ICU beds is because of patients coming to the city for the COVID-19 treatment in a critical condition. “The current scenario is the same as it was in the month of April-June when the cases were on rise and there was a huge shortage of beds. City is back to zero again where people have started facing problems. The daily increase in the number of cases is a sign of the second wave which BMC is not accepting,” he said.
ICUs at all major private hospitals like Lilavati, Hinduja, Nanavati, Hiranandani, Wockhardt, Bhatia, Jaslok, Bombay and Breach Candy are full. Officials said although public hospitals have 33 ICU beds available, Sion, Nair, KEM and SevenHills hospitals on Sunday said there was no more space.
Civic officials have attributed this shortage stating most of the patients are coming from outside Mumbai and are in serious condition who need to be shifted to ICU. “We are getting more serious patients from outside Mumbai due to which most of the ICU beds are occupied by them. Moreover, most of the time serious patients are shifted from private hospitals to the civic-run hospitals at the last moment who are in urgent need of ICU and oxygen beds,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
Senior doctor attached to a private hospital said a majority of the patients are reluctant to seek treatment at the jumbo centres.