BHOPAL: Outbreak of viral fever particularly among children has exposed negligence of health department, which had ensured to provide adequate number of beds in government hospitals to tackle possible third Covid wave. However, condition is contrary. Three to four children share beds in government hospitals in many places in state.
Anticipating a possible third wave of Covid-19, the state government has set a target to increase bed capacity by September 30. By September end, the state expects to have 27,448 beds including 5,021 ICU beds and 3,297 beds exclusively for children in Madhya Pradesh.
The department of medical education (DME) previously had 2,983 ICU beds while the health department had 784 ICU beds during second Covid wave.
As far as oxygen-supported beds are concerned, the health department had 11,156 and DME had 2,887 beds. To these, 4,193 and 866 more oxygen-supported beds were to be added. With this, the total oxygen-supported beds will be 19,130 in the state.
Besides, the health department had 200 beds in Pediatrics Intensive Care Units (PICU), while the DME had 326 beds for the children. The two departments were to arrange for 320 and 204 more beds in their facilities taking the bed capacity to 1,050.
Dr RKS Dhakad, medical superintendent Gwalior Medical College, said, “ GRMC medical college is 75 years old. Population swelled since then. There will be bed crisis in government hospital. This year, children have been affected with viral fever. We ensure proper treatment. We hardly bother about beds. Always, there is 150 per cent to 200 per cent occupancy in this season. Very soon, another hospital of 1,000 beds will be ready for use. We will shift pediatrics ward to new building. Jaya Arogya Hospitals attached to GRMC has sufficient facilities for treatment of children and adults infected with viral fever.”
Public health expert Amulya Nidhi said, “Not only beds but also other facilities were also assured by health department. But neither beds nor oxygen plants have been set up. The state government has focused on setting up oxygen plants in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur districts. More districts need them.”