Bengaluru: New hospital management system impacts ambulance service; details

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Published: July 2, 2020 6:20 PM

Ambulances that carry patients to the hospitals have been facing many issues including being stranded in front of hospitals (due to lack of paperwork), refusal of doctors to get in and mismanagement.

BBMP officials are guiding the ambulance to pick up a patient and drop them.

New Coronavirus management in Bengaluru impacts ambulance service! In a city which has witnessed a sudden spike in COVID-19 positive cases in the last few days, the new hospital management system which is supposed to settle the issue of beds has not only created chaos in the city but has also left many ambulances stranded. According to a report by the IE, ambulances that carry patients to the hospitals have been facing many issues including being stranded in front of hospitals (due to lack of paperwork), refusal of doctors to get in and mismanagement.

What is COVID-19 combat strategy in Bengaluru?

In order to understand all the problems ambulances have been facing, it is crucial to know what exactly is the strategy that has been implemented in Bengaluru. Last week, Dr Om Prakash Patil, Karnataka Director of Health and Family Welfare Services had issued a notice that forbade government and private labs to convey the result of Coronavirus test to individuals directly. Instead, the state government wants to upload those results on the ICMR portals and the information will only be shared with state officials.

With this, the municipal corporation receives the information and they inform the patients and also determine how severe their symptoms are and thus, take them in ambulances to either hospitals or healthcare centres. Moreover, BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) has a collective data of all hospital beds, ICUs available and they themselves redirect the ambulances to take patients where there is vacancy. This was done to ensure that a COVID-19 positive patient does not have to suffer by going from hospital to hospital in search of beds.

What went wrong with this system?

The IE report said that many patients, when they were taken to the hospitals in ambulances, they were asked for COVID-19 test details from the hospitals. Copies of these tests are being sought by hospitals and patients are finding it difficult to get hold of BBMP officials for copies. The process of getting test result copies has turned out to be cumbersome and ambulances have to wait outside the hospital till all the papers are cleared.

Another problem, as stated by the report, is that in one case, a doctor refused to get inside the ambulance. Similarly, issues at management level are also arising. The report cited another example where one ambulance was asked to pick up five patients.

With many problems, ambulances are shunted between the hospitals. BBMP officials are guiding the ambulance to pick up a patient and drop them and therefore they are the ones who have to coordinate between the hospitals and patients, a process that has become problematic with patients not having access to their documents, the report mentioned citing a 35-year ambulance driver in the city as saying.

Currently in Bengaluru, an addition of 500 cases can be seen on a daily basis, which health officials feel that the city is reaching its COVID-19 limit and the situation can become more severe.

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