Mumbaikars’ hunt for hospital beds to ease

I.S. Chahal file photo

I.S. Chahal file photo  

Integrated dashboard to now allocate beds; 1916 helpline to get more lines

An integrated dashboard of vacant beds in public and private hospitals and improved services on the 1916 helpline will help in prompt allocation of beds to patients in need in Mumbai, Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal said on Tuesday.

“Bed allocation was a big problem as there was no real-time data. We now have a dashboard that will be updated every half an hour. Bed details from private hospitals have also been integrated on a single portal,” Mr. Chahal said.

He said problems in reaching the 1916 helpline will be sorted out from Wednesday. “We are adding more lines. The line should not be busy for any person,” he said.

Mr. Chahal said the city has 75,000 hospital beds in all, of which 44,000 are in dedicated COVID hospitals (DCH), dedicated COVID health centres (DCHC) and COVID care centres-2, which are meant for mild and asymptomatic patients.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) aims to raise the number of beds to one lakh by June 15.

A media release sent by the BMC, however, showed only 18,000 beds in DCH, DCHC and CCC2. “This is the number of active beds. As needed, the capacity can be scaled up to 44,000,” deputy executive health officer Dr. Daksha Shah clarified.

The release said 82% of the beds in these three types of set-ups were occupied as of Tuesday. Nearly 65% of the 4,116 beds with oxygen support were occupied, 95% of the 644 intensive care unit beds were occupied, and 66% of the 359 ventilator beds were occupied.

With a recent order bringing 80% of beds in private hospitals under State regulation, health officials said more beds will be available. The State has capped the charges for these beds, which are meant for COVID-19 as well as non COVID-19 patients.

State health secretary Pradeep Vyas said they had received 22 complaints against hospitals for overcharging. “The hospitals had to return the money,” he said, adding they have also given written apologies.

456 ambulances

Mr. Chahal said the BMC has deployed 456 ambulances to ferry patients, and all drivers have been given PPE kits. “We have also tied up with Uber, through which the citizens can know the availability of an ambulance near them. In the next four to five days, this will be worked out with super efficiency,” the civic chief said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 10:02:35 AM |

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