Panel to study feasibility of resuming non-COVID-19 activities at Victoria hospital


Two-and-a-half months after converting Victoria hospital into a dedicated COVID-19 facility, plans are afoot to restore its normal functioning. The Medical Education Department is setting up a three-member committee to study if it is feasible to resume all non-COVID-19 activities in the hospital.

Several patients with non-COVID-19 ailments are finding it difficult to get affordable treatment in the city. Also, heads of other centres on the Victoria hospital campus, such as Minto and PMSSY, have been urging the government to permit them to restart their normal functioning.

Although Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education), said that the exit plan for Victoria hospital is being chalked out, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar told The Hindu that the decision could not be taken in haste at this juncture when the number of cases is going up. “We will set up a three-member committee to study if it is feasible to restore the hospital’s normal functioning. As of now, only COVID-19 patients are admitted in the Emergency and Trauma Care Centre. Let us wait and watch for one more month,” he said.

Victoria hospital, a referral tertiary public healthcare facility that houses the Emergency and Trauma Care Centre, PMSSY Super-speciality Hospital, Institute of Nephro Urology, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital and Vani Vilas Hospital, had been converted into a designated COVID-19 facility in mid-March.

Although Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had announced that all the 1,200 beds in the hospital will be used for COVID-19, after rearranging the beds with adequate space in between two beds, 550 beds had been made available in Victoria, PMSSY and Trauma Care Centre. As of now, all the 100 beds in the Trauma Care Centre and less than 10 beds in the multi-storey building are occupied.

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With Bowring and Lady Curzon, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and the facility on Broadway Road being readied for COVID-19 by Infosys Foundation, also being designated for COVID-19, there are adequate number of beds.

“Our bed occupancy in the entire State is 6.09% as of now. Sooner or later, general activities of Victoria hospital will have to resume. But we have to decide if we should wait for one more month or do it now, especially when the numbers are going up,” Mr Sudhakar said.

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Sagar Biswas

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