COVID-19: Change in bed blocking protocol
Patients will be referred to private hospitals only after bed occupancy reaches 90% in government-run facilities
With nearly 78% of beds in government hospitals being unoccupied following a drop in COVID-19 cases, the State government has now said blocking of general and high dependency unit (HDU) beds will be first allowed only in government medical establishments. Referral of government patients to private facilities can be done only after the bed occupancy reaches 90% in government-run facilities, stated a circular issued on Saturday.
As of now, only 22% of beds are occupied in government hospitals and government medical colleges in the State. Recently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had issued a similar circular on bed blocking in government hospitals within Bengaluru.
The circular stated that ICU and ICU-ventilator beds will also be preferably provided at government-run facilities. However, in exceptionally critical cases, where the nearest facility needs to be provided or specialised critical care of the patient mandates specific private facility admission, the ICU or ICU-ventilator beds in private facilities could be considered.
Earlier, to ensure bed availability for all COVID-19 positive patients, the State Health Department had mandated that private hospitals should reserve 50% of beds for government referred patients.
R. Ravindra, president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said the Association had written to the government urging to issue an order to release vacant beds in private hospitals for treatment of private non-COVID-19 patients or alternatively make 25% payment for vacant beds.
“We met the Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) again on Saturday in this regard. He has assured us that the necessary order will be issued next week,” said Dr. Ravindra.