BENGALURU: The healthcare system in Karnataka seems to be on the verge of collapse with both the government and private hospitals turning away Covid-19 and other patients saying they are running out of beds. The growing concern is that this situation is leading to the death of some patients. A relative of a deceased patient who had breathlessness revealed he went to 30 hospitals for nine hours and yet all the private hospitals denied treatment saying there were no beds. Another patient’s relative stated that at least three hospitals refused treatment in the wee hours of Monday for a person whose blood pressure was falling, which led to his death too.
Dinesh Jain, resident of Nagrathpet, tried for more than 12 hours to get his 52-year-old uncle admitted in a private hospital, and contacted more than 50 private hospitals in the city and everyone had the same answers “We are running out of beds”. With no treatment in place, Dinesh’s uncle died on Sunday. “ It was around 7 pm on Saturday when my uncle started to feel breathless and immediately we rushed him to 30 private hospitals. They said there were no beds available. I also called 50 hospitals, they refused too. From 7pm to 4 am, I kept trying.
“Then I took him back home. The next day we went to a private testing lab and gave his samples for testing. By then, his health started to deteriorate. I took him to a government hospital. They too refused treatment and at 11.30 pm on Sunday, my uncle died in the ambulance,” said Dinesh. “However, my uncle’s reports are yet to come,” he said. In another case, 65-year-old Wilson Paul, resident of TC Palya, woke up around 11 pm feeling uneasy. He was refused treatment at private hospitals and Paul died on Sunday. “We reached out to three hospitals. One hospital only checked my father’s BP while the second hospital we went to was closed.
The third hospital TOO did not treat him. And my father passed away” said Mark, son of Paul. In another case, a 45-yearold Covid-19 patient from Gottigere was refused treatment by nine hospitals. “The patient tested positive on Friday. We tried both in a private and a government hospital. Everybody said beds were full. From 11.30 pm to 3 am we tried, but to no avail and we took the patient home. Then next day after repeated attempts we got a bed at the Prakriya Hospital, thanks to Dr Srinivas, CEO of the hospital. The patient was saved just in time,” said Zurzur Hararwala, member of Fakhri Medical Centre, a social organisation.
When The New Indian Express contacted Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, he said, “Right now, there is task team for transportation. Once they get details about the Covid-19 case, they immediately go and pick up the patient. “There are times patients give wrong contact numbers and it is difficult for the team to track them. However, if nobody is coming to pick them up, the patients can call 108 and immediately an ambulance will arrive. As for non- Covid patients, e are getting increasing complaints that they are not getting treatment. We are making the system more robust. We will ensure that strict action is taken against erring hospitals.”
MORE COVID FACILITIES With the rising Covid-19 cases, the city corporation has announced to increase the number of Covid centres and beds to house patients and asymptomatic primary and secondary contacts. As per an order of BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar, directions have been issued to create a 7,000 bed Covid care centre at the Bengaluru exhibition centre. Also a 3,000 bed facility will be set up in Tripura Vasini in Palace Grounds, 750 beds facilities in the hostels of both Bengaluru University campuses and 250 each at Koramanagala indoor stadium and Dayanand Sagar University in Kumaraswamy Layout.