Where the entire Karnataka administration slept over the second Covid wave, IPS officer PS Harsha is expected to put in place 500 ICU beds in each of 8 BBMP zones
Assuming Harsha pulls off a miracle, where will the oxygen and health staff come from?
Perhaps the only way out: Karnataka govt should take over all private hospitals immediately
After the utter flop show by the Karnataka Health Department in the matter of creating adequate health infrastructure in anticipation of the second Covid-19 wave, the onus for succeeding where an entire department failed now lies with a single individual. IPS officer PS Harsha has been tasked with a herculean responsibility – setting up 500 ICU beds in each of the 8 BBMP ones, or a whopping 4,000 ICU beds in all, at the earliest.
So while the entire administration slept on the coming crisis for nearly a year, 2004 batch Karnataka cadre IPS officer PS Harsha, currently on deputation to the Department of Information and Public Relations, has been appointed as nodal officer for the task of setting up 4,000 ICU beds in the city.
Dr.P.S.Harsha, IPS, Commissioner of Information and Public Relations, is appointed as Nodal Officer for setting up of 500 ICU beds on a fast track mode in each of the BBMP Zones.— DIPR Karnataka (@KarnatakaVarthe) April 30, 2021
The relevant order issued on Friday by N Manjunatha Prasad, Principal Secretary (Revenue) and member secretary, Disaster Management’s state executive committee, reads, “The Chairman, state executive committee, hereby appoints Dr PS Harsha, IPS, Commissioner of Information and Public Relations, as nodal officer for setting up of 500 ICU beds, on a fast track mode, in each of the BBMP zones with immediate effect.”
Prasad directed all concerned departments to extend full cooperation and support to Harsha.
Govt has failed Bengaluru
It may be noted that TheBengaluruLive was the only media organization to highlight the failure of the state Health Department in anticipating the second wave of the pandemic and creating adequate ICU/ventilator beds infrastructure in the state, especially in Bengaluru. The capital city on Friday reported in excess of 26,000 Covid-positive cases.
Read Here: ‘Sleeping’ Karnataka Health Department has missed chance to ramp up oxygen, ventilator beds https://thebengalurulive.com/sleeping-karnataka-health-department-has-missed-chance-to-ramp-up-oxygen-ventilator-beds/
BBMP, which has been tasked to allot beds to needy Covid-19 patients, has by and large failed to get private hospitals to set aside 50% beds for referred Covid patients. As things stand, the civic agency does not own a single hospital, apart from some primary health centres.
Will beds treat patients?
Assuming for a moment that Harsha succeeds in meeting the target of setting up 4,000 ICU beds, the question of how the medical personnel and the huge amounts of oxygen required will be sourced remains unanswered.
An officer, on condition of anonymity, said setting up 4,000 ICU beds at short notice was near-impossible. “Such a task cannot be handled by one man. The state government has deputed IAS-IPS teams in all 8 BBMP zones, and even they are not able to ensure that 50% of private hospital beds are allocated for BBMP referrals. It shows how strong the healthcare monopoly of the private sector is. The need of the hour is for the political leadership to issue a diktat and put all private hospitals under the state government. Only such a measure can curb the spead of the pandemic.”