Bed shortage in Mumbai likely due to insurance cos’ guidelines: BMC Chief – ET HealthWorld

The complaints of lack of hospital beds in private hospitals in Mumbai may have to do with the rules laid down by insurance companies rather than an actual shortage of beds, Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has said.

Following complaints from several citizens that they were facing difficulty in finding hospital beds in private hospitals, the BMC Commissioner checked with hospitals and found that people with mild Covid symptoms were getting admitted to private hospitals and taking Molnupiravir drug treatments.

“They are just getting admitted to hospitals for a day or two and getting discharged. We asked hospitals to get these people treated at OutPatient Departments (OPDs). The private hospitals have told us that the health insurance companies have a rule that only patients admitted for at least a day can be considered for releasing insurance payments,” Chahal said.

“This is unnecessarily creating an issue and beds are being blocked by non-serious patients. I have asked these hospitals to write to me on the issue and I have to decide to take it up with these insurance companies to allow payments to even those being treated in OPDs,” he said.

Chahal said the civic body has also decided to monitor patients being admitted to private hospitals so that only those who really need hospitalisation are admitted.

Meanwhile, the civic body is also mulling banning the sale of home test kits for Covid. Lakhs of such kits are being sold in the city and the civic administration is concerned that if there are any positive cases then the civic body may not be able to track them. While RT PCR tests conducted by laboratories have to send the positive test report to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the civic body has no way to find the results of the home tests kits. From January 1 to January 7, around 5 lakh covid home test kits have been sold in the city. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said that the civic body is mulling to ban these test kits.

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