Not enough ICU beds for swine flu patients in city

Namrata Devikar
Monday, 8 October 2018

Only two of around ten hospitals with ICU facilities have confirmed availablity

PUNE: As the number of swine flu patients in the city has increased, they are now facing a new issue, as hospitals with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and isolation units are denying them admission due to shortage of beds. 

Pune Municipal Corporation-run Naidu Hospital does not have an ICU unit with a ventilator in which case patients are forced to go to private hospitals. But now, the private hospitals are also denying admission, putting the patients and their families in a fix.

Speaking to Sakal Times, a family member of a 70-year-old asthmatic patient, who was tested positive for swine flu, said, “The patient came under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). However, when we needed to shift the patien to a more equipped hospital with the CGHS scheme, the hospitals reported that the beds were full. After this, we started hunting for hospitals from 5 pm in the evening till 5 am in the morning.”

The family member also mentioned that the unsuccessful search of the hospitals led them to admit the patient to a private facility where the family was forced to spend on deposit before the admission of the patient.

“The patient is asthmatic, which meant that the patient needed ventilators in order to be admitted. Though we found a bed after searching full night and calling all potential medical facilities in the city, it was very tiring and stressful for the patient and for us,” said a relative of the patient.

With more and more swine flu patients being admitted to hospitals from PMC limits and other cities, the burden on the facilities is increasing. Around 10 hospitals in the city are equipped with such facilities, however, after enquiring with them, only two confirmed that beds are available. However, these two hospitals do not fall in the ambit of CGHS.

Moreover, one of the hospitals also demanded a deposit of Rs 40,000 before admitting the patient. 

Another hospital, when enquired, noted that as their ICU is already full, they are sending and recommending swine flu patients, who need isolation ward in an ICU, to four other hospitals in the nearby areas as their ICUs are full. 

According to the Health Department of PMC, as on October 5, there were 125 patients still admitted in hospitals for swine flu. There are 78 patients still admitted in the ward and 47 patients are on ventilators.

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