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Ghaziabad has 28% beds vacant even as patients struggle to get beds

Ghaziabad: The officials of the Ghaziabad administration said on Sunday that 28% of total beds allotted for Covid-19 patients in hospitals is vacant, especially in government healthcare facilities
PUBLISHED ON APR 19, 2021 12:25 AM IST

Ghaziabad: The officials of the Ghaziabad administration said on Sunday that 28% of total beds allotted for Covid-19 patients in hospitals is vacant, especially in government healthcare facilities. This statement comes as the Covid-positive patients complain of struggling to get beds for treatment.

There are 2,496 Covid-19 beds available in the district — 1,538 in 25 private hospitals, and 958 in three government facilities in Sanjay Nagar, Santosh Medical College, and Rama Medical College (Pilkhuwa) — of which 1,786 are occupied, according to the official data as of Sunday.

“About 72% of the total beds are occupied. These also include 440 ICU beds, of which 330 are occupied. We have only 210 vacant beds in private hospitals as of Sunday... There are issues of bed availability as some hospitals with regular oxygen supply problems are not admitting patients,” said an officer familiar with the development, requesting anonymity.

HT on Saturday (April 17) published a report in which Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate, had assured of putting up a list showing the number of beds available over the official district website. He had also asked hospitals to put up the bed availability status at their premises. However, the arrangement did not materialise on Sunday.

“Bed availability is a major issue as people keep calling us for help. We somehow got one patient admitted to a private hospital, but the patient was asked to arrange for oxygen supply and his family did so. There are instances where people said that they were willing to donate money to get beds for their family members. There is no way that the patients or their families can know the bed availability status. Instead, they keep on going from one hospital to the other in search of beds,” said Alok Kumar, founder member, Federation of Association of Apartment Owners.

Meanwhile, Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer (CMO), said that the department is trying to increase the total number of beds, but Ghaziabad may still see a shortage in beds as patients in large numbers come from other districts for treatment. “Of the 72% occupancy, we have about 30% patients who have come from other districts for treatment. So, the occupancy is on the rise. We will streamline the process to ensure that the bed availability status is known to the patients,” he added.

Experts from Indian Medical Association, Ghaziabad chapter, have also stepped in to fight the prevailing crisis. On Sunday, they said that they have initiated a WhatsApp helpline number: 9999081239, which will be operational from 9 am to 9 pm. “People facing issues can post messages on this number, and our experts will try to help them. It is estimated that about 80% of patients do not require hospitalisation, but they keep approaching the hospitals. Our experts, based on the patients’ health conditions, will suggest them if they require hospitalisation or can stay at home. Two of our experts will be available online (over zoom platform) from 3 pm to 4 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays, to reply to all the queries raised by the residents,” said Dr Ashish Agarwal, president, IMA (Ghaziabad).

In the meantime, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has rolled out a policy for “presumptive patients” who tested negative, but have Covid-like symptoms in CT scan, X-ray, and blood sample reports.

“The directions said that such patients will be treated like Covid patients if the attending doctors require that. They will be given treatment just like Covid-positive patients and will be kept at separate wards in Covid centres. We have also initiated giving pouches of different medicines to patients showing Covid symptoms, who come to our centres for testing. The idea is that those having symptoms should start an early treatment. The pouches are getting prepared, and we will start distribution soon at our testing centres,” said Dr Rakesh Gupta, district surveillance officer.

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