BMC asks private hospitals to transfer non-Mumbai COVID patients, to jumbo centres outside city

The civic body has also directed these hospitals to discharge all coronavirus-asymptomatic patients

In order to sustain the load of the quickly spiralling active cases in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed all private hospitals in the city to redirect and deflect outstation patient traffic to jumbo COVID care centres on the outskirts of the city. This injunction has been issued with respect to the inability of the hospitals to cope with the caseload that has surged by 50% in the city, since September 1 due to improved testing. The civic authority has also instructed private hospitals to discharge all asymptomatic patients to vacate the hospital beds for those who cannot home isolate and need dedicated medical attention.

No beds for Non-Mumbaikars

This decision of the BMC is discriminatory, especially to those who come to the city to seek expert care and medical attention. However, with these non-permanent patients filling up private hospitals in the cities, the vacancies are falling short for the local citizens of Mumbai. This directive is authorised over 80% of the private hospital beds that are under the jurisdiction of the BMC. These beds shall also be allotted through the ward war-room. Besides, the BMC will ensure that non-Mumbaikars find beds for treatment in jumbo care facilities outside the city. The remaining 20% of the beds can be allocated as per the discretion of the hospitals.

The city has a capacity of around 1,418 ICU beds, out of which a meagre 91 were available on Monday. 27 of these vacancies were in the city's private hospitals. The city has been witnessing a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and with the closure of 72 nursing homes in Mumbai over lack of equipment and facility, the city has decided to classify COIVD patients to facilitate treatment accordingly. Only those MMR patients that require dedicated attention will be admitted to major hospitals in the city while others would be diverted to the jumbo care centres outside the city limits.

Apart from this, all asymptomatic patients are not allowed to seek beds in hospitals and have been advised to isolate at home. The BMC has further notified all private hospitals to discharge all asymptomatic patients if their health conditions are stable and they need not require any further external care. According to doctors at private hospitals, all asymptomatic patients are usually admitted for a period of 5-6 days, and are discharged once their clinical and biochemical parameters show stability. Certain patients to extend their stay incase their families are in quarantine or there is not enough space to isolate at their homes.

Knock Knock

BMC's decision on providing health facilities based on the patient's location have met with a sharp criticism. Since no citizen of India can be denied a right to treatment and admission, diverting patient traffic to centres that lack supervision and/or equipment is discriminatory.

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