'Bed capacity is ready' — Tatarstan denies lack of beds in hospitals in case of epidemic

The Republic of Tatarstan can provide emergency hospitalization to 4,750 patients, i.e. one patient per 821,61 people

'Bed capacity is ready' — Tatarstan denies lack of beds in hospitals in case of epidemic
Photo: Maksim Platonov

FinExpertiza consulting network has published its assessments of whether there will be enough beds in infectious diseases hospitals in Russia if the same situation happens as in Wuhan, in the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic. According to FinExpertiza, only 20% of all patients — one in five — will have the opportunity to be hospitalized in Tatarstan in this case. However, representatives of the Tatarstan ministry of healthcare and Kazan Kremlin shared their bewilderment with Realnoe Vremya: the republican anti-coronavirus headquarters's work is based on the assessment of the real situation, everything is under control.

Panic moods and bed capacity

The interesting results of a study by one of the federal consulting networks have been recently published. Analysts tried to assess whether there will be enough beds in infectious hospitals in Russia if the most apocalyptic scenarios of the coronavirus epidemic are implemented.

It turned out that with the most pessimistic forecast (if 5% of the population gets infected), only one in 124 patients in the country will have the opportunity to count on having enough space in the hospital, and there will be one doctor per 550 infected people. If the same scenario is implemented that is currently in effect in the ill-fated Hubei Province — one patient per 1,000 people, then in Tatarstan, for example, only one in five can count on a bed in a hospital. Tatarstan and Moscow are the first in terms of “disadvantage” in this rating.

But we must understand that not every infected person will go to the hospital, not everyone will need hospitalization, and the scope of the epidemic in Russia is far from the Chinese events: only two cases of the disease have been recorded within the borders of our country so far, and several more Russians have fallen ill on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is now in quarantine off the coast of Japan.

“If necessary, we can accept more than three thousand patients, and, if necessary, quickly use additional beds," Marat Sadykov said. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Marat Sadykov: “The bed fund is ready”

Marat Sadykov, the minister of healthcare of Tatarstan, answered our correspondent's question the following way:

“We don't even know about any research! We have a headquarters for the fight against coronavirus, and we have a bed fund ready. If necessary, we can accept more than three thousand patients, and, if necessary, quickly use additional beds.”

Lilia Galimova, the head of the press service of the President of Tatarstan, also commented on the situation to our edition:

“The republican staff, which includes heads of ministries and departments, has formed a reserve based on immersion in the real situation. What are the conclusions of this consulting network based on? What data did they take as the basis of the study? This requires a separate study. As far as we know, even the federal ministry of healthcare is not familiar with this study.”

In total, it turns out that Tatarstan can urgently provide assistance to 4,750 patients. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

“We just used the data of Rosstat”

The authors of the rating commented on the methodology and the figures they used in the calculations to Realnoe Vremya. It turned out that they were based simply on data on the total number of beds in infectious diseases hospitals published by Rosstat in 2018 (although these data, according to the experts, were updated in 2020). FinExpertiza agency responded to us:

“We considered two scenarios: one which is now really unfolding in China (one case per 1,000 people), and the second — the forecast, which was calculated by British epidemiologists (5% of the infected population with the worst forecast). We used the data on the bed fund from the latest reports of Rosstat and made a rating of regions based on the number of people per hospital place. Separately, we calculated the ratings based on the general bed fund, and separately — from the fund in infectious diseases hospitals (after all, they have their own specifics — boxes, isolation, staff). We took into account only those beds that are available in hospitals as of today. We are not talking about additional measures to deploy new hospitals and other medical infrastructure. The key words — 'if' and 'potentially': it is clear that when an epidemic occurs, doctors will begin to take additional measures. But so far, according to Rosstat, there are only that many available beds for infectious diseases.

Meanwhile, Realnoe Vremya has already written about how many beds have been prepared in case of the outbreak of the epidemic in the republic — according to Marat Sadykov, who announced these figures at the first meeting of the republican headquarters for the fight against coronavirus.

How many beds are actually available in pieces

Let us remind that the leaders of specialized departments whose tasks are to prevent the epidemic are working at the headquarters. The staff includes Minister of Healthcare Marat Sadykov, Head of Tatarstan Rospotrebnadzor Marina Patyashina, Minister of Transport Lenar Safin, Minister of Emergency Situations of Russia in Tatarstan Rafis Khabibullin and Chief Veterinarian of Tatarstan Almaz Khisamutdinov. Leila Fazleeva, the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, has headed the staff.

At the first meeting, Marat Sadykov clearly stated what would happen if the virus spread in the territory of the republic. First, medical care for patients will be provided in infectious diseases hospitals in Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny: the capital's 11th clinical hospital and the Tukaev hospital in Naberezhnye Chelny have been re-designated for these purposes. Nine hundred and nineteen beds are fully ready to receive patients.

But if necessary, if the incidence still begins to grow, then 68 medical organizations will additionally deploy 3,831 beds — this was stated by Sadykov at the same meeting of the republican staff. In total, it turns out that Tatarstan can urgently provide assistance to 4,750 patients. The official population of the republic is 3,902,642 persons, as of 1 January. Thus, according to rough calculations, the ministry of healthcare of Tatarstan is ready to deploy “coronavirus” beds in the ratio to the number of the population — one for 821,61 (and this scenario is even tougher than it is now in China). This statistic does not fit well with the one presented by FinExpertiza.

By Lyudmila Gubayeva, Ekaterina Ablayeva