Andhra Pradesh Covid-19 Educational Health Legal Science

Rush for beds: People walk into hosps sans calling 104

Vijayawada: While officials claim that hospital beds are being allocated to all who seek admission through ‘104’ service (after determining their level of infection), many waiting outside hospitals were found to be those people who came directly to the hospitals or were patients who shifted from private to government institutions in the eleventh hour.

In Vijayawada, when those waiting outside the government hospital were contacted over the last few days, most of them were found to be either attendants or those who rushed to the hospital for better treatment without contacting ‘104’ for guidance. Staff manning the 104 call centre said they are facilitating hospital admissions to serious cases, and moderate cases are being referred to Triage, where they would either be routed to Covid Care Centres or advised home isolation.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of beds for Covid patients from 6,500 beds in Visakhapatnam after the private medical college hospitals of GITAM and Gayatri were converted into Covid hospitals. Besides, 1,360-bed Covid Care Centres were opened at Bakkannapalem and Pineapple Colony, and two more CCCs will function at Paderu in a couple of days.

In Vizag , a 30-member team under DRDA PD has been functioning at the 104 call centre in three shifts. The call centre is transferring information regarding cases necessary for hospital admission to the managements, and arranging the beds for the needy people in one-two hours.

Many infected patients in Tirupati were found to be directly approaching the hospitals for allotment of beds rather than calling the call centre. The authorities at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) told TNIE that the allotment of beds is prioritised based on patients’ condition. They said a patient will be admitted if he/she requires life support, and is critical. Similar situation prevailed in Nellore.

In Srikakulam, officials are arranging beds for Covid patients on being alerted through 104 call centres, but it takes longer for shifting them to hospitals or CCCs due to shortage of ambulances. Further, it was observed that though Covid hospitals and CCCs are locally available, many in rural areas either rush to the main hospital in Srikakulam or Vizag. Most of the serious cases being brought to the government hospital are from private hospitals in the last minute.