Four Bengaluru hospitals in dock over Covid-19 beds

A medical worker collects swab for coronavirus test at Dr B R Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital at Kadugondanahalli in Bengaluru. Credits: DH Photo

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has initiated criminal prosecution against four city hospitals under the Disaster Management Act for not reserving 50% beds for Covid-19 patients referred by the government.

The order, issued on September 21, comes five days after it sent final show-cause notices to 36 private hospitals that had turned away patients, saying beds were not available.

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The Palike found the replies of four hospitals unsatisfactory and initiated criminal proceedings against them. They are: Republic Hospital, Langford Gardens; Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road; Nu Hospital, Padmanabhanagar; and Vikram Hospital, Millers Road. 

Dr Shashidhar, Managing Director and physician, Republic Hospital, said he was yet to receive the order.

But after reviewing a copy of the order sent by DH, he said, “It’s totally uncalled for since we have reserved 28 out of the 55 functional beds. The BBMP is not referring enough cases and we have not refused any BBMP patients. Beds are lying vacant, and so far no payment has been received. Also, there is an acute shortage of manpower.”

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Vikram and Fortis hospitals maintained they have not received the order.

Fortis, in a statement, said, “We are yet to receive the physical copy of the order at our Bannerghatta Road unit. As a law-abiding hospital, we will respond after receiving the copy.”

Vikram hospital did not provide an official statement despite DH sending a copy of the BBMP order via an instant messaging platform. The hospital has 225 beds as per the BBMP order.

Nu Hospital did not respond to an email from DH.