Recently, there came the third wave of Coronavirus in the Country’s capital Delhi. With the third Covid-19 wave now, private hospital medical practitioners are divided over the Delhi government’s decision to reserve 80% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for patients with Covid-19.
In November, when the city was in the jaws of the third wave of the outbreak and faced with a serious shortage of ICU beds, 80% of those beds were reserved for high-risk Covid-19 patients in 33 private hospitals.
Challenge Of Association Of Healthcare Providers In Delhi:
The Association of Healthcare Providers in Delhi has challenged the order in court, claiming that more than half of the reserved ICU beds are vacant and that there is no justification for continuing with the status quo, now that the wave appears to have subsided with a drop in daily coronavirus cases.
However few private doctors feel that the order should not be reversed because harsh winter conditions and pollution are yet to be seen in the area, all of which are conducive to the rise in cases of coronavirus. Some others believe that it is important to make the system more flexible.
“The decision should not be reversed. The government should not call off its decision just on the basis of cases going down,” said Arunesh Kumar, Head of Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology at Paras Hospital.
“In Delhi-NCR, we are yet to witness extreme winters and pollution, both of which are conducive for the rise in Covid cases. Till the time we do not have a vaccine, Covid-19 should be given priority in our healthcare facilities,” he included.
Pulmonologist Piyush Goel also agreed with Kumar’s views and said that for Covid-19 patients, the city must maintain 80 percent of ICU beds until the virus is contained. “It is being assumed that the Covid situation may worsen in coming months, and we do not know how virulent or severe it will be this time,” he said. Goel, who is affiliated with the Columbia Asia Hospital, said, however, that there should be the flexibility that private hospitals can accept non-Covid patients if Covid-19 patients are not there.
However, another Delhi-based physician advocated that retention of ICU beds deprives critical care and other services for non-Covid patients and leads to numerous healthcare access problems.
“We should open the hospitals to all the patients, and we can revisit the order if the cases start rising again, “We should open the hospitals to all patients, and we can revisit the order if the cases start to rise again.