Hyderabad: The state health department’s claim that over 56,000 beds are kept ready in hospitals in the state for Covid patients rings hollow. Many of these beds are in hospitals that are not listed for treating Covid patients.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health department has released a list of hospitals that can treat Covid patients and cited the number of beds available at each hospital. However, doctors at these listed private hospitals say the facility does not accept Covid patients.
For instance, as per data from the department itself, a few of the listed hospitals are infertility clinics. Thus, the count of 56,000 beds is misleading, and the actual number of beds available for Covid patients is far lesser.
A doctor at a hospital in Hanumakonda district said, “We aren’t admitting or treating any Covid patient though the health department has given permission for all nursing homes to do so. We keep getting messages from the department, asking us to update the number of Covid patients we have treated, and we keep entering zeros.”
The hospital has 15 regular beds and five oxygen beds, as per the health department’s data. Effectively, these 20 beds are a part of the government’s count of beds, but won’t be utilised by Covid patients.
A paediatrician at a children’s hospital in Jogulamba Gadwal district said the hospital hadn’t treated any Covid patient. The hospital in a remote place did not have the facilities needed to treat such cases, he said.
“During the first wave, many hospitals were not accepting Covid patients. The government made it mandatory for us to be listed under Covid hospitals. So, we gave a letter stating that in case of an emergency, we are ready to accept Covid patients,” the paediatrician said.
Another doctor at a hospital in Khammam district said it did not intend to admit any Covid patient. The hospital mainly catered to patients with kidney ailments. As per the health department’s data, the hospital has 19 oxygen beds and six ICU beds.
Director of Public Health Dr Srinivasa Rao was not available to comment on this matter....