Millennium Post

Order making 14 pvt hosps Covid dedicated reversed

New Delhi: With the healthcare infrastructure in Delhi already facing the pressure of the fourth wave of the pandemic, the Delhi government on Wednesday reversed its earlier decision to declare 14 large private hospitals in the city as "Covid-19 only" and allowed them to treat non-Covid-19 patients provided they collectively set aside around 3,500 beds for Covid-19 patients.

After reviewing the repercussion of the order the government amended its previous order and has asked all the 14 hospitals to collectively reserve 3,553 beds for Covid patients while the remaining can be used for "other patients", a senior official from the health department told Millennium Post.

The remaining beds can be used to treat "non-Covid follow-up patients and patients requiring emergent medical/surgical treatment", as per the amended order issued on Wednesday.

The order further states, "The 14 hospitals are allowed to temporarily increase their bed capacity up to 35% and the additional beds may be utilised for the treatment of non-Covid patients."

The 14 private hospitals, including Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, St Stephens Hospital, Max SS hospitals and others were earlier declared as full COVID hospitals and were directed specifically to not admit any non-COVID medical/ surgical patient till further orders. The new order has effectively reduced the number of hospital beds reserved for Covid-19 patients at these hospitals by 784.

According to a senior official of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, "Our hospital is fully committed to the government's fight against COVID-19. We welcome this revised order as it will help save the lives of critically ill Non-Covid patients in addition to Covid patients."

But in a parallel set of moves, the Delhi government went about adding more Covid-19 beds in the city by once again attaching at least 23 banquet halls and hotels to private hospitals so that milder patients can be shifted to auxiliary care at these facilities. While phase one of this transition will add over 2,000 Covid-19 beds, phase two is expected to add 282 more.

"The linked private hospital shall admit Covid-19 positive patients in their extended Covid hospitals as per the patients' medical condition and in case such patients turn severe at any point time during their stay in the hotel he/she shall be transferred/admitted in the linked private hospitals at its scheduled rates," the order said.

As for banquet halls being linked to hospitals in the city, the rates for the banquet halls and other facilities will be determined by the Divisional Commissioner while the healthcare facilities will be provided by the linked hospital.

The Delhi government also directed several of its major hospitals to ramp up bed capacity, adding 718 ward beds, 28 ICU beds with ventilator, and 187 ICU beds without ventilator.

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