4,500 beds sought from private medical colleges

In the light of increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Karnataka government is now estimating the requirement of beds to treat patients in 11 private medical colleges in Bengaluru to be about 4,500 from the earlier notified 2,200 beds. This comes a day after the government sought 2,500 beds from private hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

The doubling of requirement was conveyed to the private medical college managements by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who met representatives here on Tuesday. A total of 6,500 beds, including 2,000 in government medical colleges and 4,500 in private medical colleges, are to be made available for COVID-19 treatment in Bengaluru alone. There are three government medical colleges and 11 private medical colleges in the city.

A note from the Chief Minister’s Office said that private medical college managements promised to join hands and sought time to ensure required facilities in phases. Mr. Yediyurappa also informed the representatives that a centralised bed distribution facility had been launched in BBMP already, and that it would be fully functional in the next two to three days. “A coordination committee will be established with private medical facilities and efforts will be made to use tele-medicine for treatment,” he said.

The CM also assured the representatives that insurance facilities would be extended to all medical and paramedical staff in private medical colleges involved in COVID-19 treatment.

Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said that rates fixed for private hospitals would be applicable to private medical colleges also. He indicated that the government would modify certain treatment protocol, and a detailed notification would be released on Wednesday. Currently, he said persons with diabetes, blood pressure, kidney and lung ailments who test positive are being treated in COVID-19 hospitals, while asymptomatic patients are being treated in COVID-19 Care centres.

He also said that post graduate students of private medical colleges will also be deployed at care centres. There have been complaints about non-payment of stipends to these students by some colleges. Already, notices have been twice to such colleges and if stipend is not paid, action will be taken against the colleges, he added.

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