COVID-19 patients running pillar to post to secure bed

A beneficiary gets vaccinated at Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

When Sanjay Singh’s 55-year-old father complained of breathlessness on Thursday morning, the family had no clue how long it would take them to get a hospital bed. It finally took them a day and trips to five hospitals.

“We got him admitted yesterday afternoon [Friday] at Lok Nayak Hospital but we do not know yet whether he has COVID-19 or not,” Mr. Singh, 35, said outside the hospital.

Relatives of many COVID-19 patients said that they had to travel to multiple hospitals to find a bed as they are unavailable in many hospitals with a record surge in cases.

Outside Lok Nayak Hospital, the largest Delhi government hospital, many relatives said that they got a bed without much hassle after being referred there by other hospitals, but some complained about lack of proper facilities at the hospital.

Did not have report

“On April 15, my father started having breathlessness. When we went to Raja Harish Chandra Hospital, where my father’s treatment was going on, they did not consider us. Later, we went to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital where they gave him a nebuliser and sent him home,” Mr. Singh said.

He said that his father did not have a COVID-19 positive report as none of the hospitals tested him.

As per rules, COVID-19-suspected patients can also be admitted at a hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

“Yesterday [Friday] early morning, his condition worsened and we went to Ambedkar Hospital. There, they gave him oxygen. He was a suspected COVID-19 patient and was referred to Safdarjung and Lok Nayak Hospital. When we went to Safdarjung, they said that they did not have beds. Finally, we got a bed at Lok Nayak around 11.30 a.m.,” he said.

Mr. Singh said that though the admission was almost smooth, facilities were “not good”.

Vinay Kumar, 33, also said that he had to go to four hospitals to get his mother admitted. “First, we went to a private hospital when she started having breathing issues. There, the X-ray report showed some patches in her lungs. Then, we went to ESI, Vivek Vihar, where doctors referred us to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. When we reached the hospital, they informed us that they did not have any beds. In the end, around 1.30 a.m. today, we managed to get a bed at Lok Nayak Hospital,” he said.

Gopal, 35, a daily wage labourer from Mangolpuri said that they had to go to three other hospitals before Lok Nayak Hospital in search of beds to get his wife admitted. “Finally, when we came here around 9.30 p.m., she fainted. While waiting to get admission, only after we started shouting, they rushed her to the hospital,” he added.

Lok Nayak Hospital had around 650 vacant beds on Saturday afternoon, as per a government website.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 9:33:04 AM |

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