Hyderabad: Oxygen, ICU beds in private hospitals become scarce

Hyderabad: With the number of single-day COVID-19 cases rising sharply in Hyderabad over the last three weeks, private hospitals are filling up swiftly. There is a shortage of ICU and oxygen beds.

There have been several cases of patients having four to five rounds and turning away from each of them.

“We tried all big hospitals within a 15-kilometre-radius around my house but not a single ICU bed was available. After taking every possible avenue and reaching out to all possible contacts, we had to admit my sister-in-law to a government hospital which seemed like the last option available. After two days, we shifted her to a private hospital where we found a bed,” told Srikanth, family member of a COVID-19 patient, as quoted by Times of India

According to a complaint lodged with the state health department, a patient was tired of going to seven different hospitals and finally got a bed after depositing Rs 100,000 as security. At present, 26 per cent of COVID-19 beds in government hospitals are occupied while 45 per cent of those in private hospitals are occupied.

The situation in private and corporate hospitals in and around Hyderabad is such that prior bookings are required to obtain oxygen beds.

“We have allotted 200 critical care beds and 40 ventilators, of the total 600 Covid-19 beds but the daily turnover of patients is much more. This is leading to a perpetual shortage of beds for patients on ventilators and oxygen beds. Regular beds with oxygen supply are available if we can book it beforehand,” said Neeraj Lal, senior vice president, operations, Medicover group of hospitals.

“I have had to redirect a few patients to the government hospitals after trying to find a bed for them at every possible place I knew. Once again, we are seeing the people’s hesitancy coming in way of seeking treatment at government hospitals. Be it the private or the government infrastructure, we seem to have learnt no lessons from the first wave. We are exactly in the same situation even now,” said Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav, national secretary for Indian Medical Association’s Academy of Medical Specialities.

GHMC region accounted for 361 cases in the past 24 hours, the maximum positives recorded in Telangana on Tuesday with seven deaths.