BENGALURU: ''If you don't cooperate with us and give us 50 per cent beds, we will cut the power and water supplies and close down the outpatient facility at 6 pm,'' Urban Development Department Minister Byrati Basavraj who is in charge of Whitefield-Mahadevapura zone, is seen telling Arnab Mandal, CEO, Manipal Hospital, Whitefield, recently. The minister’s wrath was caught on camera.
The Manipal staff were seeking to convince the minister that they cannot offer 50 per cent of the beds. When contacted, Manipal Hospital did not respond.
As Bengaluru threatens to explode with Covid-19 numbers, the pressure to get more hospital beds for symptomatic cases in each one of the eight zones is very high. The government has been trying very hard to get more beds to treat serious symptomatic patients. There is a shortage of beds in private hospitals for Covid patients in each zone and since cases are rising, each minister in charge of the zones is under pressure to deliver.
According to sources, until now the allocation of beds in private hospitals used to be a citywide exercise but it has now assumed a zonal dimension. So, henceforth, all availability charts of hospital beds will be zone-wise.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in meetings with the Bengaluru zonal in-charge ministers has always stressed the need to be sufficiently equipped with beds for any emergency.
Hospital sources said Manipal has a 100-bed facility in Malleswaram which they have exclusively set aside for Covid. They explained the predicament of admitting Covid-19 patients in hospitals because the general patients cannot be admitted in the same facility due to the risk of infection. So only if there is an exclusive wing or building, it is feasible, they said.