Smaller private hospitals and nursing homes in the city are now joining hands in the fight against Covid by setting up wards to share the patient load. The move will increase Covid beds at a time when major hospitals in the city are struggling to meet the demand.
Given the unabated rise in cases and the rush of patients, the state health department reached out to nursing homes, asking them to set aside a section of their beds for the treatment of people contracting the novel coronavirus. The request came after private hospitals sent out an SOS that they were running out of beds. “Given the bed crisis, we have decided to rope in nursing homes, which can help with whatever number of beds they can,” said a health department official.
Following a meeting with nursing home representatives on Wednesday, the health department has added nine nursing homes to its list of private hospitals for Covid treatment, while several others are working on the infrastructure. Once all the nine listed facilities become functional, 176 beds will be added to the existing 1,948 private hospital Covid beds.
“Of our 60 functional beds, we have converted 20 into Covid facilities. Of them, 10 are for intensive care. We are evaluating whether we need to scale up the number or not,” said an official of Ohio Hospital in New Town.
While private hospitals that are currently treating Covid patients are bigger, the smaller hospitals and nursing homes can accommodate 60 to 150 beds, each. Accordingly, the smaller facilities have been asked to reserve 10 to 40 beds for coronavirus. “As of now, we are creating a Covid ward with a capacity for 20 beds,” said Arindam Chanda, COO of GD Hospital in central Kolkata. “Given the current crisis, we have decided to create a 10-bed level 1 and 2 Covid-care facility, for which work is in progress,” said Subir Kumar Banerjee, medical superintendent at Iris Hospital that has 84 functional beds.
Some nursing homes are figuring out the logistics before setting up the infrastructure for Covid treatment. “Most nursing homes are located in congested areas and not all buildings have separate entry and exit gates. If we start accepting Covid cases without proper planning, it could prove disastrous for non-Covid patients. We should be allowed some more time to execute the plan,” said the administrator of a south Kolkata nursing home.
Source: Times of India