Now, all roads lead to Bengaluru
COVID-19 patients from other districts of Karnataka are seeking admission in Bengaluru hospitals in considerably large numbers now. This is a reversal of the earlier trend when Bengaluru patients went to districts seeking beds, unable to find them here, as the caseload in the city was very high.
Now, while the number of cases reported in the city are declining, those in other districts are rising. In fact as per Tuesday’s health bulletin, only 27% of the total 22,758 cases were reported from Bengaluru Urban, while the remaining were from other districts.
R. Ravindra, Medical Director, Suguna Hospital, said that patients were coming to his hospital from Hassan, Chickballapur, and Kolar districts. “They are coming here because there are no beds available in their districts. Some are coming here because their relatives are here and they feel that they will get access to better medical care here,” he said.
Last month getting a bed in hospitals in Bengaluru was a difficult task. However, in the last fortnight, most hospitals do have vacant general beds.
While admission in private hospitals under the government quota require the BU number generated at the time of testing, private quota beds do not require it. Even if a hospital demands BU number for patients from other districts, in many instances, the patients undergo another rapid antigen test in the same hospital and provides a Bengaluru address of their relatives and get admitted in the hospital, said a source.
Prasanna H.M., president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (PHANA), said that over the past few days, the majority of their intensive care unit beds were occupied by patients from other districts. “We have been treating patients coming from Tumakuru and Hassan,” he said.
Patients and their families say that they are forced to come to Bengaluru as the quality of ICUs and specialised care is not up to the mark. Ranjanna S., a private company employee whose relative tested positive in Hassan, said that he insisted that his uncle be brought to Bengaluru as he knew a few specialists in the city and as an ICU bed was not available in hospitals he had enquired with.
“It was extremely difficult to arrange an ambulance and maintain the oxygen saturation level. But when it comes to saving a life, we are willing to ensure all hardship to ensure that he recovers. He is now undergoing treatment in a private hospital in the city,” said Mr. Rajanna.