At some hospitals, there’s no food or staff, and patients want out


Patients being asked to call reception if they need help, relatives told to get food

More and more complaints are pouring in against private hospitals on their treatment of covid-19 patients. Sample this: A patient was told to call the reception from his mobile phone, if he needed any help; at another hospital, the patient was not served dinner even at 11 pm, and told to ask his family to come and give him food.

Rupesh Kumar, a 57-year-old patient, admitted to a private hospital near CV Raman Nagar said, his father called him and broke down and asked he be shifted out of the hospital. “My father was in the ICU for two days. Now, he is back in the normal ward. He told me the hospital staff told him that he should call from the reception from his phone if he needed anything,” Kumar said. The hospital staff told the patient that there won’t be people in the wards 24/7 and that they will come if any help is required. “It is difficult for us to even contact these hospitals and ask for information,” he said.

In another hospital, a patient’s attender has been asked to bring food from home and give it to him. Ashish, the patient’s attender, told BM, “They told me I can come and give food to my mother. They said, if we wanted, we could get the food and hand it over to the staff and they will give it to the patient.

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Initially, they had said, I can go in and feed the patient, but when I asked a few questions about how that can be allowed, they defended it, saying I could use gloves and masks and go to the general wards but I will not be allowed inside the ICU. I just walked out after hearing this and am arranging with some volunteers to shift my mother out of this hospital.”Ashish said that though he had requested the hospital staff to provide some food on time, his mother was given food at 11 pm.

Dr Suriraju V, managing director and chief urologist at Regal Hospital, said, it is the smaller hospitals that are struggling. “At Regal Hospital, we haven’t had any such experience. Most medium and small hospitals are struggling due to lack of staff, housekeeping, so the government must change its approach of treating all the hospitals with one yardstick regardless of the hospital’s size.” He said some hospitals might have a problem with the patient-staff ratio. “This can cause delay in catering to patients. But, we have never had any situation where a patient was left unattended at any point,” he added. He said hospitals must start streamlining the treatment process.



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Sagar Biswas

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