Alleged bed-blocking: Three-member team raids Private Hospitals
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Alleged bed-blocking: Three-member team raids Private Hospitals

May 19, 2021

Mysore/Mysuru: A three-member team from different departments has become a nightmare for a few Private Hospitals in city that had allegedly indulged in ‘bed-blocking.’

After the surprise raid by the team members on some Hospitals, others have mend their ways and not playing any mischief with regard to reserving beds for the Government-referred COVID patients. 

The team comprises Dr. D.G. Nagaraj, MCC Health Officer, Dr. Mohammed Shiraz Ahmed, District Tuberculosis Officer and Nodal Officer for RT-PCR testing & reporting and Poornachandra Tejaswi, KR Sub-division ACP. 

The modus operandi of this team is totally different. Hitherto, other teams would visit Hospitals, check computer on admission and discharge of patients and then discuss with Hospital Managements over a cup of tea. 

However, this team, after reaching a particular Hospital, would wear PPE kit fully or wear half of the body, and directly enter into the Covid Ward to physically check the number of beds reserved for Government-referred patients and the management quota beds. 

They would take the pictures of the beds allotted by the Hospital Management other than patients recommended by the District Administration for admission and then upload pictures on an exclusive WhatsApp group privy to top officers of various departments for further course of action.

One of the members told SOM that a few Hospitals had allegedly indulged in bed-blocking by not showing discharge of the Government-referred patients on records but had given beds to patients of their choice. ‘Some managements had no answer when they were caught red-handed. They offered apologies and promised not to repeat such mistakes. We have promptly reported the same to Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri so that none should question our  integrity,’ a team member said.

Why was the team formed?

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The reason behind constituting this team was due to complaints from the general public about the alleged bed-blocking by a few Private Hospitals, after the State Government urged all Private Hospitals to reserve 50 percent of beds for the Government-referred patients. Out of many officers, these three officers volunteered to be members of the team mainly to make beds available for the needy patients. 

The DC immediately issued an order about constituting a team and vested it with powers to raid any Private Hospitals among 30-plus Hospitals which have been empanelled, to physically examine the allotment of Government quota beds. The presence of a Police Officer in the team helped in gaining entry into any Hospital without hindrance.

Continuing, the member said the team was able to unearth truth only after entering the Covid Ward with full body protection. In fact, the Hospital Managements had never expected the team to make entry into the Covid Ward to physically count the number of patients referred by the Government and those admitted by them. 

Hospitals, which had lied to the Government, were strictly warned by the team. As the team conducts surprise raids, other Private Hospitals have become extra alert and are not trying to fudge information in computers fearing filing of cases. 

“Consequent to our surprise raids, the bed availability in Private Hospitals for the Gover-nment-referred patients has increased. The Hospitals prefer to keep the Government-referred beds vacant rather than allotting them to their patients. We collect inputs from patients and their attendants, verify it and then make surprise checks. We strike at will without intimation but in the interest of poor patients,”  he added.

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Bed allotment at Triage

The District Administration is planning to allot beds for serious patients at Triage Centres so that they could get admission at the earliest and get treatment.

Till recently, patients were ferried in ambulances from one Hospital to another in search of bed. Henceforth, it must not be there as the bed availability position will be given to Covid Mitra Centres from where the beds will be allotted.

It may be recalled, District in-Charge Minister S.T. Somashekar, at a meeting held at  Zilla Panchayat auditorium on May 11, had directed Officers to personally visit all 34 Private Hospitals which are supposed to give 50 percent of beds to the Government and give an accurate report on the actual availability of beds.

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