Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has directed private hospitals in the state to provide 50 per cent of beds for coronavirus patients as promised by them "with effect from tomorrow itself."
"The Chief Minister directed the private medical college hospitals to provide 50 per cent of the beds with effect from tomorrow itself as there is an acute increase in the number of COVID 19 cases reported in Bengaluru," his office said in a press release.
This is the third meeting by the chief minister with the private medical college hospital owners, said officials, adding that in the first meeting, the hospital authorities were asked to reserve 50 per cent of beds for coronavirus patients.
When they did not comply, a second meeting was held, officials said. The chief minister was then compelled to convene another meeting and issue stern directions to them, according to the officials.
Mr Yediyurappa said the private medical college hospitals need to cooperate as there is a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the city.
"It has come to the notice of the government that some institutes are denying treatment for COVID as well as non-COVID patients," Mr Yediyurappa was quoted as saying in the statement issued by the CMO.
The chief minister expressed concern over media reports about several people dying as they did not get timely assistance due to denial of treatment by hospitals, it said. The chief minister told the authorities of the private institutions that Bengaluru should continue to lead the country in being a role model for COVID-19 management.
According to the CMO, during the previous meeting, the private medical colleges had agreed upon providing around 4,500 beds, which would make the total beds available in government and private medical colleges to 6,500.
The chief minister expressed dismay over some colleges not providing the number of beds as promised and also about certain lacunae which were noticed by ministers during their visits to these institutions.
"During this emergency situation we should respond with humanity. Covid and Non-Covid patients should not be denied treatment and the balance in the healthcare system should be maintained," Mr Yediyurappa said.
He also assured them of all support including providing doctors and nurses, if need be. The private medical colleges too assured him that 50 per cent of beds would be provided and some colleges offered 80 per cent of the beds for COVID treatment, the CMO said.
Nodal officers have been appointed to monitor the availability of beds in these medical colleges.
It has also been decided to issue notice to Vaidehi Medical College for their absence, the statement added.