Ambulance Queue and Hospital Efficiency Not Related: Gujarat Govt

The Quint
·3-min read

The Gujarat government on Wednesday, 14 April, rebutted allegations of an overwhelmed healthcare system, saying that it is unfair to associate queues of ambulances outside with the efficiency of the civil hospital.

As per media reports, the sharp spike in cases in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad has led to a severe scarcity of hospital beds. Reports have emerged of COVID-19 patients waiting in ambulances for hours on end, due to an acute paucity of beds at Ahmedabad’s biggest COVID-19 facility.

On Tuesday, 13 April, afternoon, a journalist tweeted purported visuals of 108 ambulances with COVID patients waiting for four to six hours outside the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

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What Did the Gujarat Government Say?

The government, in defense of the hospital said that the admission of patients is happening as per protocol, which cannot be discarded, noted PTI. The civil hospital in Asarva currently houses 1,200 beds for COVID-19 patients.

"The civil hospital is trying its best to save every patient. There is no relation between the queue and the efficiency of the civil hospital. We cannot bypass the set protocols just because there is a queue of ambulances," PTI quoted civil hospital superintendent Dr JV Modi as saying, in response to the Gujarat HC pulling up the government for the surge of COVID cases in the state.

State Head of Operations, 108 Emergency Services told ANI that,

“Now there won’t be any queue outside Civil Hospital as the Hospital has increased 70 beds, patients are also transferred to other hospitals according to their condition.”

This comes even as the superintendent of the facility on Tuesday told ANI that 2,008 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the Medicity campus of the hospital on Monday, 12 April, night.

The superintendent said this in response to media reports of patients waiting in ambulances outside the hospital for hours on end, as the facility had run out of beds.

"“2,008 COVID-19 patients are admitted in Medicity campus right now with a capacity of 2,120 beds. We took 45 ambulances in last night within an hour.”" - JV Modi, Superintendent, Ahmedabad Civil Hospital

Also Read: Government Should Consider 3-4-Day-Long Lockdown: Gujarat HC

People Wait For Days: Guj HC on COVID

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court on Monday asked why the common man was having to stand in queues while the government was claiming ample availability of beds and oxygen facilities. Representing the government, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said that everything was under control.

“Everything is under control. The government is doing its job. Now, the people have to be more cautious,” Trivedi told the court, adding that imposing a lockdown was not a solution as it will affect wages of people and that people must impose a “self-lockdown”. In an oral order, Chief Justice Vikram Nath of the Gujarat High Court had, on Monday, said that "news channels are flooded with the harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties and unmanageable conditions of the infrastructure".

The Chief Justice had also reportedly noted that there exists a deficit of not only testing, beds and ICUs, but also of supply of oxygen and basic medicines like Remdesivir.

He had further noted that the reports indicate that the state is moving towards “a health emergency of sorts”.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

Also Read: Gujarat COVID Spike: Crematoriums Face Crisis, Patients Await Beds

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