Bengaluru, April 18 (IANS) Cracking the whip, the Karnataka government on Sunday served notice to five major private hospitals here for not reserving 50 per cent of their beds for treating Covid patients amid surging cases.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta served the notice to Columbia Asia Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Vikram Hospital and Aster CMI Hospital as they did not comply with the government order.
“It has been observed that your hospital has not complied with the direction of the state government and made available the mandated 50 per cent of the beds for Covid patients,” said Gupta in the notice to the corporate and other hospitals.
To control the spread and ensure availability of resources, Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar on April 6 notified that 50 per cent of beds in all private hospitals across the city be reserved for treating Covid patients referred by the public health authorities.
The notice, by the civic body, said: “You are directed to comply with the Chief Secretary’s order within 48 hours, failing which action will be taken, including suspension of registration (license) and fine.”
The notice was served within hours after Governor Vajubhai Vala advised the state government to ensure enough oxygen supply, drugs and beds for Covid patients in hospitals across the state, including Bengaluru to reduce the cases.
The Governor’s intervention came on a day when a record 19,067 new cases were reported from across the state, with Bengaluru accounting for 12,793 of them.
The new cases took the state’s Covid tally to 11,61,065, including 1,33,543 active cases and the city’s tally to 5,46,635, including 97,897 active cases.
State Revenue Minister R. Ashoka also directed the BBMP to raid private hospitals in the city which have not reserved 50 per cent of their beds for treating Covid patients.
“Many private hospitals, including those run by corporates have set aside only 10-15 per cent of their beds for Covid patients despite assurances that they would reserve 50 per cent of them,” he told reporters earlier in the day.
Following complaints on social media and news channels by the affected patients, Ashoka told Gupta to take action against hospitals defying the government’s order.
Admitting that the response of private hospitals for reserving 50 per cent of beds for Covid patients had not been satisfactory, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar also said legal action would be taken against those not complying with the government order.
“On inspecting, we have found that corporate hospitals like Manipal and Sakra have not provided 50 per cent of their beds for admitting Covid cases,” he said.
Many private hospitals, however, told the minister that they were facing acute shortage of infrastructure and human resources for treating more Covid cases.