Discovery Health may move non-Covid-19 patients to free up ICU beds - report

16 July 2020 - 11:26 By TimesLIVE
Discovery Health's CEO says patients will be moved around the country if necessary to ensure everyone who needs a hospital bed gets one. File image
Discovery Health's CEO says patients will be moved around the country if necessary to ensure everyone who needs a hospital bed gets one. File image
Image: Phasut Waraphisit via 123RF

SA’s biggest medical scheme administrator, Discovery Health, is prepared to move members around the country should the need arise, as Covid-19 cases surge.

“We will make it our business to make sure all Discovery members get a bed if they need one, and that includes plans that we have made to move people around the country if we have to,” said Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach in an interview with Business Day.

“We would move the non-Covid-19 patients to try to free up ICU beds for Covid-19 patients,” he said.

TimesLIVE reports that SA recorded 12,757 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The national death toll has reached 4,453 and the cumulative number of infections in the country now stands at 311,049.

The number of people who have recovered is 160,693 - a recovery rate of 51.7%.

The fewest cases of Covid-19 in SA are in the Northern Cape, followed by Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Free State.

Gauteng health authorities said on Wednesday that 5,576 people with Covid-19 were being treated in private and public hospitals in the province. This was an increase of 952 people since Monday.

Gauteng's current hospital bed capacity, reports TimesLIVE, includes:

  • 5,251 private hospital adult general ward beds;
  • 977 state hospital adult general ward beds;
  • 805 private hospital paediatric beds;
  • 126 state hospital paediatric beds;
  • 749 private hospital adult ICU and high care unit beds; and
  • 393 state hospital adult ICU and high care unit beds.

Johannesburg has 2,205 hospital beds, followed by Ekurhuleni [2,230] and Tshwane [1,970].