In huge boost, private medical colleges in Bengaluru to allot 50% beds for Covid patients, Health News, ET HealthWorld

BENGALURU: In huge relief for the government which has been grappling with a shortage of facilities, private medical colleges in Bengaluru have agreed to part with about 4,500 beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday held a meeting – the second in as many days – with representatives of private hospitals and medical colleges at Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday and later said of the 4.500 beds, 2,200 have already been notified.

“There are 2,000 beds available in government medical colleges and those offered by medical colleges will be added to the tally soon,” Yediyurappa said. He said four of the colleges have set up Covid testing labs and new testing facilities will be set up in the other colleges too.

On Monday, the government agreed to a proposal to share 50% of beds in private hospitals on an equal basis to treat virus-infected patients and also to extend insurance cover and police security to private doctors and paramedical staff involved in helping coronavirus patients recover.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, medical education minister K Sudhakar said Bengaluru has the most number of private medical colleges “in the country”. Of the 14 colleges, he said 11 are private and three are government-run.

About 1,000 beds have been kept aside for Covid patients at three government colleges, while the 11 private colleges have a total about 10,000 beds between them. Following Tuesday’s meeting, managements of these colleges agreed to make 50% — about 4,500 beds including ICUs — available for Covid patients. They have also agreed to make available ventilators, experts, doctors and paramedical staff, Sudhakar said.

Noting that all 4,500 beds may not be available immediately as non-Covid patients may be undergoing treatment, Sudhakar said the managements have promised to ensure all beds are available within a fortnight.

“The central allotment committee that we have constituted in coordination with nodal officers appointed for each medical college will allot beds in a scientific manner,” he said. Rates fixed for private hospitals will be applicable for private medical colleges also.

Pointing out that stipend has been increased to 45% for government medical college students since the pandemic struck, Sudhakar said private medical colleges would also have to pay stipend. He said the department would ensure payment and will take action if managements fail to pay up.

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