EWS beds in private hospitals lay vacant

The monitoring of beds for poor patients at identified private hospitals has become irregular for over two months now, said a member of the monitoring committee. More intensive monitoring will lead to better utilisation of beds.

Patients from the economically weaker section (EWS) can claim free treatment at 43 identified private hospitals in the city. The hospitals are supposed to reserve 25 per cent quota of providing free treatment to patients in the outdoor patient department (OPD) and 10 per cent quota to admit poor patients.

At a time when health services are hot in the city due to the ongoing strike by MCD doctors, nurses and paramedics, more coordination among government and private hospitals would have led to more utilisation of beds at the identified private hospitals.

Routine admissions have come to a halt at six major hospitals under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). According to data, around 28-30 per cent of the total 640 beds have been lying vacant for the past one week.

The availability of beds at these hospitals has been hovering around this percentage for the past two months now, said a member of the monitoring committee.

“If there is active coordination among the different departments, then the occupancy of the beds at private hospitals can be improved in emergency situations like this. Around 30 per cent of beds have been lying vacant,” said Ashok Agarwal, member, EWS monitoring committee.

“The other factor which plays a big role in improving the occupancy of beds is intensive monitoring. For over two months now, regular monitoring has suffered a setback. Frequent inspections also mean better coordination among government and private hospitals,” said Agarwal.

Another way to improve the occupancy of beds for poor patients is doctors at government hospitals referring more patients to the private hospitals.

On January 27, 31.40 per cent were available at the identified hospitals, according to real time data. On January 29, 28.43 per cent beds were lying vacant and on February 3, 30.15 per cent were available, according to real time data. In some cases, it was found during inspections that free category beds were turned into paid beds at some hospitals.

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