Bengaluru to have dedicated private COVID-19 hospitals

A day after the State fixed rates for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, the government has now notified 20 big corporate healthcare institutions that run a chain of hospitals as Dedicated COVID-19 Health Care Centres (DCHCs) and COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs).

The corporate facilities have been asked to identify one branch each within the next 48 hours so that it can be converted into a dedicated facility. A government order to this effect was issued on Wednesday.

“It is expected that there will be a surge in the number of cases in the coming weeks. For better management of COVID-19 cases and to avoid cross infection, it has been decided to set up DCHCs and CCCs in private hospitals. The identified branches should have all medical facilities committed by the private hospitals to the government in terms of beds, high-flow nasal oxygen wards, ICUs and ventilators. The non-COVID-19 patients from such hospitals can be shifted to other hospitals,” State director Om Prakash R. Patil told The Hindu on Wednesday.

R. Ravindra, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (PHANA), said the concept of having dedicated private COVID-19 hospitals in different parts of the city is a good idea. “Instead of admitting COVID-19 patients in various private hospitals that may lead to unnecessary spreading of the disease, it is good that all of them can be treated in one hospital. This will allow private participation without stressing the system along with optimal utilisation of manpower and resources. After one dedicated hospital is full, another identified private hospital can be used,” said Dr. Ravindra.

Another senior member from the Federation of Healthcare Associations’ in Karnataka (FHA-K) said there is no point in giving 50% of beds in every hospital for COVID-19 treatment. “If there is no proper segregation, there is a risk of the infection spreading in the hospital. If one large hospital is used, apart from optimal utilisation of PPE kits and human resources, monitoring will also be easy and smooth,” said the doctor.


Tie-up with hotels for asymptomatic patients

Private hospitals have tied up with hotels to set up CCCs where asymptomatic positive patients can be monitored. Representatives of private hospitals and hotels had a preliminary meeting in this regard on Wednesday in the presence of Health Department officials including Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

“This public-private partnership model will free up more beds in medical facilities for symptomatic and critically ill patients, while ensuring that 80% of asymptomatic patients are kept isolated, reducing the risk of transmission to vulnerable populations. The patients at CCCs will be monitored and provided care in a non-medical environment with little stress,” said an official statement issued after the meeting. While the government is establishing CCCs in large spaces such as stadiums, hotels, hostels, stadiums etc. for free, private hospital-run CCCs are planned for patients who seek private healthcare in luxury. Each participating hospital will be tied up with budget, three-star or five-star hotels for accommodation of the patients, it said.

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Sagar Biswas

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