Dengue fear in air, Delhi government asks hospitals to add ‘fever beds’
The Municipal Corporations of Delhi has reported 56 cases of dengue, 109 of malaria, and 37 of chikungunya in Delhi residents till August 4.delhi Updated: Aug 07, 2018 13:02 IST
Anticipating a surge in the number of cases of dengue, chikungunya and malaria over the next three months, the Delhi government has issued a circular asking private hospitals and nursing homes to increase their bed strength by 10- 20% till October 31 in an attempt to prevent a repeat of 2015 when the vector-borne diseases caused a mini health crisis in the capital.
“It has been observed that increased number of cases of dengue, chikungunya and malaria is being reported. It is likely that the number of cases may further increase during the monsoon. Therefore, timely action needs to be taken,” the circular reads.
The additional beds must be used only to treat patients with fever who show symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases.
The patients must be charged only 50% of the lowest tariff category of the hospital, the circular adds.
The Municipal Corporations of Delhi has reported 56 cases of dengue, 109 of malaria, and 37 of chikungunya in Delhi residents till August 4.
Hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi have to follow a specified floor to bed ratio to get registration. They have to provide 80 sq ft space for one bed and 60 sq ft for every additional bed in a ward, not including space for toilets.
However, these norms have been relaxed every year during the monsoon season since 2015, when Delhi witnessed its biggest ever dengue outbreak with more than 16,000 cases and 60 deaths.
“If there is an outbreak like in 2015, government hospitals might not be equipped to handle everyone who needs treatment. The norms are relaxed so that everyone receives adequate medical care,” a senior Delhi government official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
“These beds not only have to be available but also affordable,” the official said.
Additional ‘fever beds’ can be added in corridors and patients can even share beds in a crisis.
First Published: Aug 07, 2018 08:45 IST