Hyderabad: The steady influx of Covid-19 patients from other States to Hyderabad for treatment in private hospitals has put a premium on medical infrastructure here, forcing Covid patients from Telangana to share finite resources such as hospital beds, medical oxygen and drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab with them.
Since April, when the second Covid wave triggered a rapid surge of positive cases, critically ill patients from States such as Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have found Hyderabad, rich in medical infrastructure, a safe alternative to access quality healthcare services. There have been instances when the State government, in a span of just 24 hours in April, allowed 31 air ambulances from across the country including Bihar and New Delhi to land at Begumpet airport and shift critical Covid patients to corporate hospitals here.
Going by the estimates provided by the Health Department, roughly 45 per cent to 50 per cent of ICU and oxygen beds in 15 to 20 major corporate hospitals in the city are occupied by patients from other States. As a result, critical Covid patients from Telangana are left with just 55 per cent of beds at super-speciality private hospitals here.
The steady arrival of patients from other States to Hyderabad has impacted allocation of vital resources such as oxygen, vaccines and Remdesivir to Telangana. The Union Health Ministry allocates medical oxygen, vaccines and drugs based on the local patient count and does not consider patients from other States who are receiving treatment in Hyderabad.
This has created a strange situation in Telangana where patients from other States have continued to access healthcare services in Hyderabad. However, since they are registered as positive cases in their native State, Centre does not take them into account while releasing medical resources like oxygen and drugs to Telangana.
At present, the Union Health Ministry is providing 420 metric tonnes of oxygen to Telangana based on the daily number of Covid patients that are reported within the State. As a result, the oxygen supply in private and government hospitals in Telangana is just being maintained on a day-to-day basis with no buffer stock left for emergencies.
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