Privately run hospitals now short of beds
Govt orders them to admit Covid patients
Private hospitals have blamed their shortage of beds on a government order for them to immediately admit Covid-19 patients.
Many private hospitals in Bangkok have suspended Covid-19 testing, citing the high demand for beds and a shortage of testing solutions and kits amid rising infections.
Hospitals who have suspended testing include Piyavate, Phyathai 1, Phyathai 2, Chaophya, Samitivej Srinakarin, Ramkhamhaeng, Sukhumvit, MedPark, Synphaet, BNH and Paolo Hospital Kaset.
Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital sent the following message to registered patients via the Line app: "As there are many people taking Covid-19 tests at the hospital, this is causing a shortage of testing solutions. It is necessary for the hospital to temporarily suspend Covid-19 testing. We will update you immediately when the service is available."
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said yesterday the government was trying to address the problem of private hospitals having to suspend Covid-19 testing because of the beds shortage.
Dr Taweesilp denied reports that the reason private hospitals had suspended testing was because they had run out of testing solutions and kits.
Testing solutions were still available at private hospitals, he said, but they were indeed required to admit infected patients right away.
It was this government requirement that meant all available beds were now reserved for Covid-19 patients that forced them to stop Covid-19 testing.
"Therefore, the prime minister has instructed the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the permanent secretary for public health and the CCSA to work together and find a solution," Dr Taweesilp said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday the government had already discussed the issue of private hospitals suspending testing.
Private hospitals have enough testing solutions, but the problem now was they now had too few available beds, the PM said.
If someone took a Covid-19 test and the result came back positive, Gen Prayut said, that hospital had to prioritise admitting that patient.
Chalerm Harnpanich, president of the Private Hospitals Association, said the problem was that the rising number of people testing positive had led to a beds shortage, an issue he had raised with the prime minister.
State and private hospitals are now testing about 20,000 people daily.