BENGALURU: In its efforts to scale up facilities for Covid treatment, the Karnataka Government on Tuesday struck a deal with private medical colleges to set aside 4,500 beds. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa chaired a meeting with representatives of 11 private medical colleges in Bengaluru.
Apart from 2,000 beds at three government medical colleges in Bengaluru already earmarked for Covid-19 treatment, private medical colleges have agreed to set aside 4,500 more beds in a phased manner within a week. These will be allocated to patients through the BBMP’s centralised system. As a token of its appreciation, the government has agreed to cover private doctors and paramedics involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients under the insurance and compensation umbrella, which is currently limited only to government doctors and other frontline workers.
“Private medical colleges have agreed to give us more than 50 per cent of their beds and this will add 4,500 beds more for Covid-19 treatment. Without exception, they have offered to support us. We have agreed to extend benefits like insurance and compensation to doctors and paramedics from the private sector too,” the CM announced after the meeting. He added that doctors in private clinics have also come forward to offer their services through telemedicine.
The medical colleges were asked to take over hotels nearby, if need be, and convert them into Covid-19 facilities to ensure other patients or students are not affected. The cost of renting such facilities will be borne by the patients. Post-graduate students and paramedical staff of private hospitals will also be deputed to treat and monitor asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients in Covid care centres.
“In all, 6,500 beds will be reserved for Covid-19 patients in the city’s 11 private and three government medical colleges. College administration representatives have promised to provide 2,000 beds immediately and another 4,500 beds will be added within a week,” said Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Tuesday was the minister’s first day back at work after completion of his voluntary isolation after his family members tested positive. After a separate meeting with representatives of private medical colleges, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar suggested that there may be some changes in treatment protocols.