The Bengaluru bed allocation system where the municipal corporation has the power to determine the severity of their symptoms and to make sure that they are transferred to the hospitals or care centers in Ambulance has led to chaos in the city.
In this system, Ambulances are made to carry multiple people at the same time. Those ambulances often find themselves waiting for hours outside a hospital as one of the patients demands paperwork for tests that is not available for patients. On the 27th of June, the director of Health and Family Welfare Services Dr. Om Prakash issued a circular and directed government and private laboratories from informing patients about the results of their COVID tests. They are now directed to upload the results on the ICMR portal and share it with the state officials.
As per Revenue Minister R Ashoka who is the in-charge of anti-coronavirus measures said,
“Once the result is known, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials who have access to a spreadsheet with the latest hospital bed positions will find a vacancy and coordinate with the patient and ambulance services to take the patient to the right hospital.”
Chaos Among Patients
As this model was designed to prevent patients to go from one hospital to another, it has led to chaos in the city as it continues to report over 500 cases every day. A 25-year-old pregnant woman was left at Victoria Hospital by an ambulance and when the hospital asked for a copy of her results, her husband tried to contact the BBMP official desperately. He said,
“My wife had been going for regular examinations at a maternity hospital near our home. On Monday, they asked her to get a COVID-19 test done. Today, a city official told us she has tested positive and must be admitted to the hospital. They are not allowing us in as we di not have a copy of the report. She is in good health, I do not know why they want to admit her.”
Ambulance Drivers Face The Burnt
With the rising cases in the city, the experts have advised the government to adopt a home quarantine facility for asymptomatic patients. Since 27th June, Bengaluru has reported over 500 cases every day. As of July 1st, the active cases in the city are 4,649 with 191 patients in ICU. Of the total 5,290 cases, 4,932 have been reported in June.
As of June 27, out of the 2,033 beds in Bengaluru government facilities, 1770 have been occupied. All the 100 ICU beds in the government facility have been filled. On the other hand, Ambulance drivers say that they are the ones who face the brunt of the new model. One of the drivers says,
“We have become like call centers. BBMP officials tell us to pick up a patient and drop them. We have to coordinate between the patients and hospitals. Sometimes the patients do not have the documents and we are shunted between hospitals. It is chaotic.”
Source: The Indian Express