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Monday, September 20, 2021

MP Tejasvi Surya exposes BBMP’s fake bed scarcity

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya has exposed irregularities and anomalies in BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) bed booking. Surya has highlighted that Covid war room employees are reserving beds in the names of people who are asymptomatic and not in need of a bed and later selling the same by brokering deals through agencies. He was accompanied by Bommanahalli MLA Shri. Satish Reddy, Basavanagudi MLA Shri. Ravi Subramanya and Chickpet MLA Shri. Uday Garudachar.

Addressing the media, MP Surya said:

The people of Bengaluru have been desperately trying to get a hospital bed to save the lives of their near and dear ones. However, if one checks the BBMP bed booking software at any point in time be it day or night, one would find that all beds all across the city are booked and no bed is available. Every day there are patients being discharged and unfortunately, some are dying and being discharged. So beds must be made available for those in need.

There is a nexus of certain BBMP officials, Aarogya Mitra hospitals, and private agents outside who are indulging in this bribe for bed scam. Beds are blocked in the names of patients who are asymptomatic or those people who are in home isolation and aren’t even aware of beds being booked in their name. Subsequently, certain people outside speak to some people in the war room and reallot the beds to those who make payments to certain agents.

Data of the last 7-8 days analyzed by us shows that more than 4065 cases where beds have been booked by BBMP have gotten auto-unblocked. This means a bed is booked in the name of a person who doesn’t need it and it remains reserved in his/her name for a period of 12 hours and every patient gets 12 hours to get admitted. I don’t understand why there is a need for 12 hours being given to a patient when those in need would get admitted at the earliest.

Once the bed is allotted for 12 hours, BBMP authorities along with the agents try to find somebody to whom they can sell the bed. After 12 hours the slot becomes unblocked automatically. In the last few days, there have been more than 4000 instances where a bed was made available for a person who wasn’t in need of a bed or who was in home isolation and didn’t get admitted with 12 hours after which the bed became auto-unblocked.

There are also instances where a person has been allotted multiple times to multiple hospitals. On the same day, the person is allotted a bed in 3 different hospitals and he is not even aware of it. On the other hand, there are common people who are dying for want of an ICU bed.

It is a curious case of how beds are allotted in certain hospitals only late in the night and not even a single admission takes place during the day. After midnight, any time together 15-20 beds are opened.

Surya assured that appropriate action would be taken and expressed a desire that those responsible for the scam, which he termed wasn’t just corruption but amounted to murder, should be put behind bars.

Some of the additional details contained in the press release after the media address as reported by Swarajya Mag says:

Revealing details of patients, whose names have been changed to protect privacy, Surya apologized to all those who have lost their lives due to such corrupt practices and said the same has been brought to the notice of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa who has assured strict action against those involved.

Some patients they allege have been booked twice at the same hospital while in reality the patient when contacted by the MP’s office denied even being contacted by the BBMP about the allocated bed. “Arun has informed that he is asymptomatic and did not require or request any hospital bed,” said the release, divulging details of how the bed was blocked at Pristine Hospital and then unblocked only to have another patient blocked on the same bed in a matter of hours.

At Apollo, a patient who claimed was under home isolation and had no symptoms was shown as having an ICU bed blocked for her. Another case mentioned was of Narasimha who was booked in three hospitals and informed about none. “Surprising fact is that she did not even need hospitalization. She has recovered and is stable now” said the release issued after the media address.

Sadly, another patient, who passed away, required an ICU but was booked an HDU bed at Apollo Jayanagar and wasn’t informed about it.

As per the release the fact that “a bed is blocked and the patient is admitted into the hospital within a span of few seconds shows the clear nexus between the Arogya Mitra at the hospital, the hospital in charge, and the zone/108-bed booking in charge,”.

Alegging that this has resulted in a lot of wastage of beds, it said almost “50 percent of the beds are unblocked after 12 hours. And that the share of unblocked beds against overall admissions indicate that a more deserving patient is denied a hospital bed for a person who is not even interested in getting admitted,”.

Some of the BBMP war room employees alleged to be involved in the scam are Mansoor Ali, Tahir Ali Khan, Sadiq Pasha, Mohammad Zayed, Alsai Saheer, Umer Khan, Salman Urif, Zameer Pasha, Zabiullah Khan, Sayed Hasnain, Sayed Shahid, Sayeed Shahbaz, Mohammad Yunus, Syed Mohin Shah, Syed Muyesh Shah, and Al Sahil. At one point in the video, Surya and the MLAs can be seen questioning the process through which these people were employed and how is it that applications for the war room were received from one community alone.

Surya has promised action to ensure that common citizens don’t have to suffer due to a lack of beds.

(Featured Image Source: Swarajya Mag)


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