Kamlesh Tripathi (79) was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia on November 5.
The New Rajendra Nagar resident could afford the best possible hospital care. He didn’t get it.
“We wanted 24-hour care in a good hospital, but could not get a bed in either Ganga Ram or Jessa Ram hospitals,” said his son Rakesh Tripathi, who finally hired nursing attendants to care for his father at home.
“My father was not critical, so we are not complaining. But what I find unbelievable is patients are waitlisted even in five-star hospitals,” said Rakesh.
Delhi has 724 hospitals and nursing homes with 36,352 hospital beds. Yet, like the Tripathis, most Delhiites cannot get a bed in an upscale hospital when they need it. In the first week of November, almost all multi-speciality hospitals were full.
The reason is not dengue, but the fact that one in three patients getting treated in Delhi hails from out of town.
Ganga Ram’s 675 beds had 100 per cent occupancy in the first week of November, with 45 per cent patients from other states. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has 595 beds, with 40 per cent of them occupied by patients from outside Delhi.
“We’re full all through the year,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, group medical director, Apollo.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has over 2,200 beds yet the waiting period for surgeries — barring emergencies — varies from one week to two years.
“AIIMS has 1 lakh (100,000) annual admissions, with 50 per cent patients from outside Delhi and NCR,” said Dr D. K. Sharma, AIIMS medical superintendent.