With dengue digging its teeth in hard and the number of patients multiplying by the day, hospitals in the city — private and government — are finding it difficult to cope with the rush. Many hospitals have been forced to defer planned operations bacause too many beds are now occupied by dengue victims.
So far, more than 2,000 cases of dengue have been reported from Kolkata and the districts and two more people have died over the weekend. Unofficial figures have put the death toll at 15.
The sudden rush has forced many hospitals, most of them private, to devote a disproportionate number of beds to dengue patients. Kothair Medical Centre, with 350 beds, had 30 dengue patients till Monday morning. Genesis Hospitals has dengue patients occupying 26 beds out of a total of 38. At Belle Vue Clinic, 39 beds of a total 196 have been set aside for dengue patients and Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) has 35 dengue patients in the hospital.
On Monday morning, three patients were brought to the cardiology outdoor unit of Belle Vue Clinic from Malda, Tamluk in East Midnapore and another from the southern part of the city. Dr Manotosh Panja, who attended them, advised an immediate angioplasty operation. But there were no beds available at the hospital since dengue patients were occupying them.
Kothari Medical Centre, another premier private hospital in the city, has also deferred several planned operations because of non-availability of beds. Hospital authorities have decided to inform the patients waiting for surgeries after the beds become available.
“I’ve advised patients to check with us before landing up in Kolkata,” Panja said. “We have 39 beds in our hospital occupied by dengue patients. We have deferred a number of planned surgeries,” Pradip Tondon, CEO of Belle Vue Clinic, told HT.
Under fire for not reacting early to the spread of the disease, the state health department has informally told private hospitals and nursing homes not to deny admission to dengue patients. On Monday, both the CPI(M) and Congress, an ally of the Trinamool government in the state, came down heavily on the state for trying to conceal the actual number of people down with dengue. To come clean, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to come out with a White Paper on the status of the disease in the city.