Chaos and panic as non-COVID patients turned away from private hospital

New Delhi: At a Delhi private hospital, serious patients were seen being turned away by hospital authorities, who cited unavailability of beds, raising concerns for emergency admission of non-COVID patients which continues to be a tedious and panic-inducing task for many in the Capital.

At Dwarka's Venkateshwar Hospital in Delhi, there was chaos and mayhem on Wednesday when a patient suffering from a heart attack was turned away by authorities, even as her panicking relative was pleading with the hospital officials. "We have no beds available, ma'am. There is nothing we can do," the coordinator at the emergency ward told the patient's relative.

The patient's relative said that she was not COVID-19 positive. While an ambulance stood outside the emergency ward, the patient was seen to be struggling. The relative, almost in tears told the staff that she had already been turned away by another hospital.

The patient was asked to visit Aakash Hospital by the administration, which was at a nearby locality, after which the ambulance rushed in that direction. This was one of just many cases that hospitals here are witnessing almost every day as COVID-19 cases in the Capital continue to rise.

"If the hospital is not COVID designated, they cannot refuse a person," said a source within the Delhi government.

According to a source at the Venkateshwar Hospital, the beds were fast filling but there were ICU beds at the hospital that were still available when the patient was brought in. When asked about the availability of ICU beds at the facility, the coordinator said that no ICU beds were available at the time.

Meanwhile, many non-COVID patients stood patiently outside the emergency ward waiting to either get admitted or visit their loved ones who were being treated there. A patient has to mandatorily get tested before getting admitted or are scheduled to have surgery.

Many had to wait for hours to get their family members admitted or get the paperwork done with overwhelmed staff. Hospitals are overwhelmed with the virus, and while many hospitals are not COVID designated, they are still taking in patients. Venkateshwar Hospital has reserved some of its beds for COVID-19 patients.

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