'Will discharge non-Covid patients when they’re ready'

Will discharge non-Covid patients only when they’re ready: Private hospitals to govt  

Out of the 49,602 active Covid patients across the state, 47,440 are in home isolation until 5 pm on January 10

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

Members of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) told the government that they will only discharge non-Covid patients when they are fit since they do not have a place to shift severe non-Covid patients.

The proposition comes as only 6% of 62,691 Covid positive patients from December 31 to January 6 are in hospital, while 1% are in Covid Care Centres and 93% in home isolation.

The association fears that non-Covid patients will be left in the lurch with beds in 75% medical colleges and 50% private hospitals being reserved for Covid patients arriving for treatment under the government quota.

Read more: Covid-19 deaths: Unvaxxed, partially-vaxxed paying the price

Out of the 49,602 active Covid patients across the state, 47,440 are in home isolation until 5 pm on January 10. A mere 2,162 cases have been hospitalised in various government and private facilities — 1,912 of them are without oxygen support, 178 are under oxygen support, 53 in ICUs, and 19 on ventilator support.  

“We could give 50% beds in private hospitals and nursing homes by January 15, but where do we send non-Covid patients?” PHANA President Dr H M Prasanna told DH, adding that even the government is aware of the difficulty.

He said beds will be given to the government as and when they become vacant. “Big chain hospitals are always full and have only certain number of beds. Where can we accommodate non-Covid patients?” Dr Prasanna asked.

Projections by the Indian Statistical Institute and Indian Institute of Science revealed that Karnataka will record 20,000 to 70,000 hospitalisations by January end or February 2. Projections for ICU bed requirements also showed the state would require 1,000 to more than 3,000 beds by February 2.

Dr Vivek G, pulmonologist, Rajarajeshwari Medical College, said the facility has 200 non-Covid patients and no Covid patients. “We were told by the medical education department to release the beds in phases,” he said.

“They asked us not to take elective surgeries like hernia, while 25% beds have been reserved for emergencies like fractures, traffic accidents, abdominal bowel perforation, and life-threatening conditions.”

He said the college opened 900 Covid beds against the government’s demand of 200, while the hospital’s total bed strength is 1,350. “We never crossed 600 Covid patients even at the peak of the second wave,” he said.

Dr Shivakumar H S, Resident Medical Officer, East Point College of Medical Sciences, said his hospital has reserved a floor for Covid patients, though they are yet to receive one.

“We haven’t discharged any of the 100 non-Covid patients. Out of the total bed strength of 650, 488 are reserved for Covid and 162 for non-Covid cases. We are only taking emergency cases and are postponing elective surgeries,” he said.