COVID-19 treatment: Major Hyderabad private hospitals make admission difficult, scare patients

A few hospitals stated outright that there were no beds available, despite medical bulletins stating otherwise.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

HYDERABAD: The process of getting admitted to private hospitals for Covid-19 treatment is not only a convoluted one, but also very cumbersome. This is despite the State government’s medical bulletin listing out the number of beds available in each hospital. Some of the major superspeciality hospitals in the city — which are the most sought-after for Covid-19 treatment — have made the admission process so difficult that patients, who have mild symptoms, rather give up rather than go around seeking treatment.

TNIE attempted to reach out to nearly 10 super-speciality hospitals to enquire about bed-availability, only to find that admission was permitted with a number of caveats. A few hospitals stated outright that there were no beds available, despite medical bulletins stating otherwise. Others required patients to register their phone number with the hospital, so that they can be given admission once the beds are vacant.

For instance, a corporate hospital with branches in Secunderabad and Somajiguda denied admission citing lack of beds, despite the bulletin stating 20 and 60 beds were available respectively. Another private hospital in Ameerpet took down patients’ details and said they would call back once beds were available. Staffers in a corporate hospital in Jubliee Hills said that a patient seeking admission must have a prescription from a government or private practitioner, recommending admission.

Private hospitals scare patients seeking beds

Some of the hospitals also insisted on an oximeter pulse saturation reading before intimating patients about oxygen bed availability to the patients. Others among these also requested them to bring CRT scans to assess the extent of damage to the lungs. Speaking to Express, a well-placed source from a top corporate hospital in Banjara Hills said that although beds were available, the number of takers has come down.

“Beds are currently available at most of the branches of our hospitals. While there was a crunch in availability of beds in the last two months, we have seen a substantial decrease in demand for beds in the last few weeks.” Thus, any impression of lack of beds is most likely a contrived one, either to discourage patients, who would not be able to pay exorbitant bills, or to make them pay money in advance.

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The New Indian Express