With the second wave of COVID-19 appearing to be on the wane, the civic body has decided to retain 20% of the beds and release the rest in the general category back to private medical colleges and hospitals.
Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commissioner, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said the decision was taken following a meeting with Minister for Revenue R. Ashok. “There are more than 13,000 beds [under the government quota] in hospitals. We have decided to retain around 20% of the general beds, and return the rest. A decision on retaining other categories of beds such as High Dependency Unit (HDU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), ICU-Ventilator (ICU-V), will be taken after another round of discussions,” he said.
The Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (PHANA), which is waiting for an official order from the health department, welcomed the move. Prasanna H.M., president of the association, said it was only right that the beds that were not being used be returned to private medical establishments so that other patients can be treated. “We had orally communicated this to the government. We have been given to understand that general and oxygenated beds would be returned,” he said.
Private medical establishments had handed over around 8,000 beds, of which 2,000 were HDU, ICU and ICU-V beds. “The remaining 6,000 are general and oxygenated beds,” Mr. Prasanna added.
Minister for Forests, Kannada and Culture Aravind Limbavali launched the queue system on the COVID-19 Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS). Under this system, triage notes of all patients seeking hospital admission will be recorded and hospital/ CCC bed type will be recommended based on clinical conditions.
A patient will be automatically allotted a token number during triaging, which will be specific for a particular bed type and zone. This number can be tracked in real time on the public dashboard by patients using either Specimen Referral Form (SRF) ID or Bengaluru Urban (BU) number.
An emergency quota had been created just for special cases, such as COVID-19 patients who are pregnant, children and senior citizens.
The Minister thanked Infosys co-founder and chairman Nandan Nilekani, who helped in producing the new software, as well as IT experts who volunteered their time to help streamline the bed booking system.