Govt covering up its own failure in building Covid infrastructure by cracking the whip at private hospitals
After failing to make private hospitals toe its line and reserve 50% of their beds for Covid cases, the Karnataka government has come out with a new diktat – this time it wants to take control of 75% of all beds in private hospitals for Covid treatment.
An order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar on Saturday evening reads: “75% of beds in private medical college hospitals having facilities to treat Covid-19 patients shall be reserved for the treatment of patients referred by the public health authorities. This will include HDU and ICU beds, both with and without a ventilator.”
The order further states: “Non-adherence/non-compliance to the enclosed order by any private healthcare providers will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under relevant sections of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.”
In his order, the Chief Secretary notes that a large number of persons affected by Covid-19 are in need of treatment, which at present is being mainly provided by public health institutions and 50% bed strength of private healthcare organizations. The order says it has become imperative to increase the number of beds in private medical college hospitals for the treatment of such patients.
The surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the past two months, has necessitated ramping up the health infrastructure in the state, which has been done on a war footing. There is a need for optimization of existing resources in public health institutions and private medical college hospitals for providing effective treatment to Covid-19 infected persons, the order says.