Telangana

Corporate hospitals full, demand for government facilities soars

Given the shortage of ICU beds in hospitals across the State, COVID patients are turning their gaze to government facilities such as Gandhi Hospital for treatment.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Until a few months ago, people used to steer clear of public health facilities in the State and with COVID-19 treatment restricted to government hospitals during the first wave of the pandemic, they had demanded that corporate hospitals also be allowed to offer the services. However, the second wave seems to have changed that trend.

The shortage of ICU beds has led to a high demand for COVID admissions at Gandhi Hospital, Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences, District Hospital in King Koti and Chest Hospital among others. Recommendations by influential persons have also increased multi-fold.

“Perhaps, this is the first time that we are receiving enquiries from top officials about bed availability at government hospitals for people they know,” said an official from the State Health department. Staff working with various State Ministers also regularly call up government hospitals to ask about bed availability.

During non-COVID times and in the first wave of the pandemic, the first preference of people was corporate hospitals, even if it was beyond their means. It was predominantly the poor who chose services at government hospitals.

However, currently, as ICU beds in corporate hospitals remain full, even the affluent are turning their gaze to government hospitals.

Oxygen, drugs

Professor and nodal officer at Government General and Chest Hospital, M. Narender said availability of Remdesivir and oxygen is another reason that people are choosing government hospitals. Mid-level private hospitals and some corporate hospitals, on the other hand, are struggling to arrange for the anti-viral drug.

Some nursing homes have asked patients’ attendants to procure the medicine on their own while many small-scale hospitals are refusing admission if the patient is aged with co-morbidities, or critical. “People always have a condescending view of treatment here. However, compared to private hospitals, it is us who have attended more critical cases during non-COVID times,” said a government hospital doctor.

ICU beds in the major government hospitals are mostly full and were completely occupied on Wednesday evening too, according to the details on ‘health.telangana.gov.in’.

Doctors said they are constantly evaluating the condition of patients to see if they can make space for more critical patients. “A separate team of doctors and nurses takes up floor analysis. They check oxygen saturation levels, vitals, and inform the triage about it. This helps to know who has to be shifted from oxygen bed to ventilator support, and who can be taken off oxygen support. Other methods are also being followed to admit more patients,” said T. Prabhakar Reddy, COVID nodal officer at Gandhi Hospital.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 5:49:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/corporate-hospitals-full-demand-for-government-facilities-soars/article34492997.ece

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