Private hospitals in Bali are turning away patients due to unreliable oxygen supply

Sanglah General Hospital is the largest hospital in Bali. Private hospitals on the island have started to refer patients to Sanglah due to unreliable oxygen supply. Photo: Sanglah General Hospital
Sanglah General Hospital is the largest hospital in Bali. Private hospitals on the island have started to refer patients to Sanglah due to unreliable oxygen supply. Photo: Sanglah General Hospital

A number of private hospitals in Bali have reportedly begun to turn away patients due to unreliable oxygen supply, though health officials in the province reasoned that the issue lies in delays in deliveries as opposed to a shortage crisis. 

Ida Bagus Gede Fajar Manuaba, who heads the Indonesian Association of Private Hospitals (ARSSI) in Bali, yesterday confirmed that some hospitals have stopped taking in certain patients.

“Yes that’s true, because [the hospitals] are afraid to treat [patients] when there’s no certainty as to when the oxygen [supply] will arrive,” Fajar said. 

ARSSI has yet to compile data on the number of patients or hospitals in this regard, but estimates that patients are being turned away across the province. He explained that COVID-19 patients require an exorbitant amount of oxygen, and reminded the public to obey health protocols. 

Coronavirus cases in Bali have escalated rapidly in recent weeks, with a record 1,250 new daily infections reported today. That puts the number of people currently in treatment at 8,625, while the province also reported its highest daily death toll yet at 33. 

“Right now many [patients] are referred from private [hospitals] to government hospitals, especially Sanglah [General Hospital]. [We] don’t dare to treat patients without oxygen [supply],” Fajar said. 

Bali Health Agency Chief Ketut Suarjaya, however, claims that there’s no shortage of oxygen supply in Bali yet. 

“It’s not completely exhausted, we are still meeting the demands,” Suarjaya said.  “No shortages, just delays in deliveries from East Java.” 

The bed occupancy rate in Bali has fluctuated this past week, with the latest available data showing nearly 85 percent occupancy in Denpasar’s intensive care unit (ICU), which holds the highest number of ICU beds in the province at 163. 

Also Read ⁠— 2 emergency COVID hospitals in Bali open today

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