Variety

78% of people using clout to secure ICU beds amidst Covid-19: Survey

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 21, 2020 Published on September 21, 2020

The number of Covid cases in India has crossed 55 lakh and the country has been recording on average over 90,000 cases daily for the last two weeks

92% of citizens wanted all hospitals to list on their websites the real-time ICU bed availability

According to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community social media platform, only four per cent of critically ill coronavirus patients are able to secure ICU beds without any external intervention amidst the ongoing pandemic.

For the survey, LocalCircles collected the responses of more than 17,000 people across 211 districts of India.

This comes as India surpassed Brazil to become the second-worst affected country by the coronavirus. The number of Covid cases in India has crossed 55 lakh and the country has been recording on average over 90,000 cases daily for the last two weeks.

Due to the overwhelming numbers, hospitals are now seeing more critical patients than they did in May-June this year. This has led to the unavailability of ICU beds.

In the survey, LocalCircles asked citizens about the experiences of people in their social network in regard to getting a Covid ICU bed in private or government hospitals.

In response, 55 per cent of citizens said that they did not have any person in their network who needed a Covid ICU bed.

About 38 per cent of respondents said they had to use their connections to secure the ICU bed, while 7 per cent said they had to follow up extensively to secure the ICU bed.

The survey noted that 40 per cent had to follow up extensively and they also had to escalate via social media or complain to the government to secure an ICU bed.

The survey also mentioned that 7 per cent of people had to bribe (cash or kind) hospital/government officials to secure the ICU bed, while only 4 per cent said they got the ICU bed without any of the above. Another 4 per cent said they did not get an ICU bed at all.

This reveals the inadequate healthcare facility in India as 78 per cent of surveyed people had to use connections and clout to secure an ICU bed.

Transparency sought

The survey stated that 92 per cent of citizens wanted all hospitals to list on their websites the real-time ICU bed availability. This will ensure transparency in the allocation of ICU beds.

The survey report mentioned that those with clout and connections are able to get an ICU bed even if they have mild symptoms. However, common citizens including healthcare workers with severe symptoms are being denied an ICU bed.

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Published on September 21, 2020
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