As per the latest information shared on 'Delhi Corona' app on Thursday afternoon, more than 3,000 beds are lying vacant in these five dedicated COVID-19 hospitals that have a total capacity of 4,344 beds.
There have been complaints of non-availability of beds or denial of treatment to COVID-19 patients in the national capital despite nearly 70 per cent of beds in five designated hospitals run by the Delhi government lying vacant, with experts attributing it to people’s aversion towards state-run facilities.
As per the latest information shared on ‘Delhi Corona’ app on Thursday afternoon, more than 3,000 beds are lying vacant in these five dedicated COVID-19 hospitals that have a total capacity of 4,344 beds.
However, almost all beds at several big private hospitals are shown to be occupied. Families of many COVID-19 patients, confirmed or suspected, have alleged in the past few weeks that they have been denied admission at many facilities or have not been able to get a bed for their kin.
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Medical and public health experts feel it may be because of the image associated with government hospitals, related to infrastructure and hygiene conditions, and perhaps shortage of staff.
According to the latest data available on ‘Delhi Corona’ app on Thursday afternoon, a total of 9,444 beds are available in private facilities and hospitals run by the central and Delhi governments. Out of these, 4,371 are vacant.
The app shows that beds are available at Delhi government-run hospitals dedicated for COVID-19 treatment such as LNJP Hospital (1,219), GTB Hospital (1,314), Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital or RGSSH (242). However, almost all beds at several big private hospitals are shown to be occupied.
At LNJP Hospital, there are a total of 2,000 beds, out of these 781 are occupied. GTB Hospital has total 1,500 beds, only 186 of which are occupied. Even at RGSSH, 258 of the 500 beds are occupied.
Beds are available at other dedicated COVID-19 facilities in the national capital too, according to the app. Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital has 94 unoccupied beds out of a total 176 and Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital has 145 vacant beds out of a total 168. This makes a total of 4,344 COVID-19 beds at these five dedicated Delhi government hospitals, out of which 3,014 or 69.38 per cent are vacant.
A senior doctor at the RGSSH said, ?We are only admitting very serious COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Those with mild symptoms, or asymptomatic, are either being home quarantined or being sent to COVID Care Centres. Our beds are on stand-by also to accommodate serious patients in case there is a sudden rush.”
Delhi Heath Minster Satyendar Jain had recently said that some private hospitals could have been denying admission, but the Delhi government-run hospitals have not denied beds to any needy COVID-19 patient. He had also said that main private hospitals are almost full to their capacity in terms of number of COVID-19 beds.
According to the app, at prominent private hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo, Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, BL Kapur Hospital are fully occupied. Max Hospital in Saket has a total of 200 beds for COVID-19 patients, and only one is vacant.
On June 9, the Delhi government had directed 22 private hospitals in the national capital to dedicate a total of 2,015 extra beds for treatment of coronavirus patients, revising its earlier allocation limit of 20 per cent.
Lawyer and public heath activist Ashok Agarwal said infrastructure and hygiene are two main factors, and people still want to “avoid government facilities”.
“I know of cases, where people were willing to be on waiting list of private hospitals but did not go to a government hospital, even though beds were available,” he said.
Even those who went to a government hospital for COVID-19 treatment, complained of “dirty toilets, and these being used by multiple patients”, Agarwal said. “Also, as the cases erupted successively over the months, many people got scared and were in two minds to go to a government hospital, as admitted patients were making allegations in videos and on social media about lack of proper services. Besides, there is shortage of medical staff at various facilities, and each patient needs to be attended to,” he argued.
Delhi recorded 1,501 fresh coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the COVID-19 tally in the city to over 32,000, and the death toll due to the disease mounted to 984, authorities said.