While people continue to die due to the rapidly spreading H1N1 virus, lack of communication and co-ordination between the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and private hospitals is putting people at risk in the city. On Tuesday, the BBMP were adamant that there had been a death due to H1N1 in Manipal Hospital in Kolar district while the hospital denied BBMP’s claims. According to the BBMP the victim was a 30 year old called Gayatri.
When contacted, Manipal Hospital authorities said there had been no H1N1-related death in their hospital. According to protocol, every hospital has to inform the BBMP of any suspected H1N1 case, confirmed case or death due to the disease. Every day, the civic agency has to compile a list of cases and deaths.
The hospital’s denial has once again brought to the fore the issues of poor synchronisation in the exchange of information over deaths due to contagious diseases. Why hospitals need to hide swine flu numbers is something strange we cannot seem to fathom. Tuesday’s incident is similar to last year’s scenario when the BBMP sent notices to a few private hospitals for not sharing information regarding dengue and swine flu cases reported there. When private hospitals choose not to disclose the details of patients admitted due to such diseases, civic agencies find it difficult to gauge the contagious nature and proximity of the disease.
KE Manjula, chief health officer, BBMP, expressed unhappiness over the behaviour of private hospitals. “Private hospitals do not even allow us inside the hospitals for verification. They just tell us that if such a case comes up in their hospitals, they will send the details through mail,” complained Manjula.