First fill Government Hospitals to avoid excessive billing by some Private Hospitals: MLAs
Mysore/Mysuru: Sufficient storage and supply of medicines to cater to over 1.5 lakh patients, fund sanctioning from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), a close examination of COVID infection in children and closure of schools till the pandemic is over were some of the crucial issues that were discussed at the COVID review meeting held yesterday.
The meeting, held at D. Devaraj Urs Hall at the Zilla Panchayat Office, was chaired by Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar where the elected representatives and officers discussed the daily case load in Mysuru and also the projection of the State Technical Advisory Committee that has predicted that the daily cases will increase up to 7,000 or 8,000 in the peak of the third wave after Jan. 25.
As soon as the meeting began, MLA Tanveer Sait said that of the Rs. 20 crore demanded from the NDRF, only Rs. 10 crore has been released and Rs. 4 crore has been spent. He said that there is a severe shortage of medical care equipment and also medicines and again over Rs. 20 crore will be needed to combat the pandemic.
Sait said that the voluntary organisations that had joined hands with the State Government to battle the first and second wave have not been paid money and bills are kept pending. Responding to this, MCC Commissioner Lakshmikantha Reddy said that all the necessary protocols and inspections were followed till now and money will be released immediately.
Leaders also asked the health officers to increase testing so that the actual number of positives is revealed. Tanveer Sait said that many people who have infections are heading to private hospitals and clinics where medications are given without testing.
Debunking the tall claims made by certain officers that there is no shortage of medical and paramedical staff, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) Dean and Director Dr. H.N. Dinesh told the meeting that the institute was facing a staff crunch as most of the staff will be in quarantine after performing certain days of duty in the wards.
Incidentally, the MMC&RI handles the administration of all the Government Hospitals that have been dedicated for COVID care. Over 120 beds have been exclusively segregated to treat pregnant women at Cheluvamba and Seth Mohandas Tulsidas Hospital, Dr. Dinesh informed the meeting.
Priority to Government Hospitals
Many MLAs like Tanveer Sait, L. Nagendra and Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah asked the authorities not to permit private hospitals to admit COVID patients and also examine how beds are reserved there. They alleged that during the first and second wave, some private hospitals were accused of excessive billing by admitting patients.
The MLAs said that first priority must be given to Government Hospitals and COVID Care Centres and only then private hospitals must be given a chance to fill patients.
Hunsur MLA H.P. Manjunath sought closure of all schools till the pandemic wore out.
Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj, MLC C.N. Manjegowda, Zilla Panchayat CEO A.M. Yogesh, District Health Officer Dr. K.H. Prasad, SP R. Chethan, DCP (Law and Order) Pradeep Gunti, MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar and others were present.