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Notices to four private hospitals for inadequate COVID-19 beds

Govt. to post officials on site to ensure 80% beds provided

The State government has served show cause notices to four private hospitals — Bombay, Jaslok, Hinduja and Lilavati — for not providing adequate hospital beds to COVID-19 patients and flouting guidelines issued to tackle the pandemic, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Tuesday.

Mr. Tope made an impromptu visit to private hospitals on Monday night, following several complaints against them.

“The Maharashtra government has acquired 80% beds in private hospitals in Mumbai and Maharashtra. In addition, the government is providing free healthcare through the Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya scheme. Despite reserving 80% beds, the government has come to know of instances where hospitals denied beds to patients claiming full capacity,” the minister said.

Going beyond the notices, the State Cabinet has decided to appoint an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation at every private hospital to ensure the plan to use 80% beds for patients works smoothly, an official said.

Mr. Tope said he observed that hospitals had not put up dashboards showing the availability of beds and the rate chart. “This is a violation of government rules, especially during a pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Sudhakar Shinde, chief executive officer of the State Health Assurance Society, who issued the notices, said they had paid surprise visits to the four hospitals and found that the number of operational beds was less than their actual capacity. “There may be other hospitals in the city that are flouting the norms as well. Our surprise visits will continue,” he said.

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