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Bengaluru’s private hospitals to share Realtime availability of beds



Bengaluru's private hospitals to share Realtime availability of beds

Searching beds for Covid-19 patients in Bengaluru’s private hospitals may turn less cumbersome from this week, with the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (Phana) all set to launch a bed availability portal.

The portal will give realtime information about the list of private hospitals, availability of beds in every hospital, location and the contact of person in-charge of bed management. “The dashboard will save a lot of time for people searching for beds. If they see a bed available in the portal, they can call the hospital and immediately block the bed,” Phana president HM Prasanna told ET.

As per the state government mandate, private hospitals are supposed to reserve half of their beds for Covid-19 patients who get admitted through the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. The government reimburses the treatment cost for this category of patients. These government quota beds can be tracked real-time on BBMP’s centralised hospital bed management portal. But what was missing so far was the information on availability of oxygen, ICU and ventilator beds under private quota in private hospitals. Patients admitted directly under private quota should either pay for treatment from their pockets or use their medical insurances.

The lack of information on private quota beds was forcing people to visit several hospitals or make desperate calls pleading for beds. The state accused private hospitals of not being transparent in sharing data. Despite the government mandating to put a display board with the number of beds occupied and available at the hospital entrance, most hospitals have not adhered. The new system is likely to bring transparency.

Close to 400 private hospitals in the city treat Covid-19 patients. Of this, about 240 hospitals have already come on board to share live data, Prasanna said. Although, initially, it was decided to make the registration on portal voluntary, the state government is expected to issue an order on Monday making the participation mandatory.

“We will issue an order making all hospitals in Bengaluru that are registered under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act to compulsorily share information on Phana’s portal,” a state health official said. The hospital’s association said it will take a call on extending these facilities to other parts of the state based on the situation.

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