Private and military hospitals to be used if bed shortage

  • Hospitals directed to reserve number of beds for Covid


As the State sector Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed capacity is reducing due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 patients, the Ministry of Health informed that it would resort to the utilisation of ICU beds in the private sector and defense sector if required.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday (27), the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and Covid Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said that the Government’s primary aim is to prevent patients from requiring ICU facilities, in order to reduce mortality.

“As of now, I’m not aware of any move to utilise the private sector for ICU beds. But according to the requirement, we will have to utilise the private sector as well. Our aim is to prevent patients from going into the ICUs, in order to reduce mortality. That is the most cost effective solution.”

However, Dr. Fernandopulle said that at present, the private sector is contributing to the Covid-19 response through their Covid-19 intermediate care facilities.

“Steps are being taken to increase the capacity of ICUs and High Dependency Units (HDUs) in order to address the issue,” she said.

When contacted, Ministry of Health Media Secretary Viraj Abeysinghe said yesterday that the ICU beds at the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Hospital, military hospitals, and private sector hospitals would be utilised when needed.

Meanwhile, The Morning learnt from the Ministry of Health Additional Secretary of Medical Services Dr. Sunil De Alwis that directors of hospitals have been instructed to establish beds with oxygen facilities wherever possible, and that requests have also been made to reserve a number of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

It was reported yesterday that hospitals are running out of ICU beds and HDU bed spaces as the number of Covid-19 patients requiring these facilities are on the rise.