Punjab

PRIVATE HOSPITALS NOT TO REFUSE TREATMENT TO COVID19 POSITIVE/ SUSPECTED CASES, DEMAND TO SHUT-DOWN A HOSPITAL FOR ADMITTING POSITIVE PATIENT, UNJUSTIFIED : DC

April 01, 2020 09:49 PM

Mohali (Face2News)

In view of the emergent nature and potential magnitude of the pandemic, for the purpose of assisting, protecting or providing relief to the community and to put in place measures for provision of proper medical care for the COVID19 positive/ suspected cases in the district, Girish Dayalan, Deputy Commissioner SAS Nagar has constituted an advisory committee headed by the Civil Surgeon, Mohali to assess and identify the required private health infrastructure to be used/ set aside, in case any of contingency.

He has issued orders that all Private hospitals (having 10 beds or more) shall provide an inventory of their beds (including ICU)/ ventilators/respirators, laryngoscopes, PPE and any other essential item as specified by the Civil Surgeon, Mohali (CSM).

• PRIVATE HOSPITALS HAVING 10 BEDS OR MORE IN THE DISTRICT SHALL SET ASIDE ISOLATION BEDS/ WARDS/OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE CIVIL SURGEON • PATIENTS REFERRED BY CIVIL SURGEON NOT TO BE CHARGED BY THE PRIVATE HOSPITALS; • PATIENTS TO PAY ONLY FOR CONSUMABLES SUCH AS MEDICINES, SYRINGES ETC. USED IN THE TREATMENT, AT RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

  

This Committee shall decide the number of beds/ ventilators/ ambulances etc. on the basis of overall capacity of the hospital and strictly on the principle of equity. It is directed that Private hospitals (having 10 beds or more) in the district shall set aside isolation beds/ wards/other infrastructure as specified by this Committee to be placed at the disposal of the CSM, to be called into service as and when the need arises.

The orders further state that all the cases referred by CSM shall not be charged by the concerned hospitals; except for consumables (such as medicines, syringes etc.) actually used in the treatment; at rates prescribed by the Government.

Further the hospitals have been directed that to ensure that staff including doctors, nurses, and paramedics etc. are all be available on duty and no one shall refuse treatment to COVID19 positive/ suspected cases.   Pertinently, there have been many reports of non-cooperation, under-reporting of capacity, exorbitant charging, refusal to set apart and create isolation facilities and even turning away of patients by Private hospitals in the district.

Moreover, it has been reported that in some cases, the hospital management has stated their staff has refused to treat/ attend to COVID positive/ or even suspected cases. "This is an unprecedented situation and at this time parochial profiteering objectives cannot be justified. Concerted efforts will be required in order to be fully prepared", stated Deputy Commissioner.

He said that the public health infrastructure in the district is grossly inadequate, given the potential magnitude of the pandemic. Even the district hospital, which is under reconstruction as a Medical College, has only 100 beds (out of which 20 beds have set aside for isolation) and zero ventilators. The private sector in the district has a strong health infrastructure which is crucial to supplement ICU beds/ ventilators needed in the district so it is imperative to take urgent and essential steps to synchronize the strategies/infrastructure for prevention and treatment of the pandemic.

The orders further state that the district is also home to considerable population from low-income groups. Access to healthcare is a fundamental part of right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The minimal public health infrastructure would be overwhelmed in case of the pandemic spreading exposing those from the lowest groups to the highest risk as they cannot afford private medical care. The survival or life of any person cannot be dictated by his paying capacity. Therefore, it is not only prudent but imperative to be prepared for any eventuality. 

Meanwhile, the demand for shutting down a private hospital in SAS Nagar for having admitted a COVID-19 positive patient is unjustified and can't be sustained, said Girish Dayalan Deputy Commissioner SAS Nagar. The Deputy Commissioner informed that he has received some calls to close a private Hospital in Mohali for admitting a COVID-19 positive patient. However, he stated that it is strictly against protocol as it is crucial to have maximum health infrastructure up and running at this time. Moreover, given that the medical facility is observing strict precautions regarding the treatment/isolation/quarantine as per protocol, Dayalan said that hospitals can simply not be made to shut down.  

Given the potential magnitude of the pandemic, it is time for government and private health infrastructure to work in tandem. In fact, orders have been passed by the District Administration directing all private hospitals having 10 beds or more to furnish the inventory of beds, ICUs, ventilators etc. to treat/ attend to COVID positive/ or even suspected cases.  

Deputy Commissioner said that the public health infrastructure would be overwhelmed in case of the pandemic spreading so the strong private health infrastructure available in the city is crucial to supplement ICU beds/ ventilators needed in the district .

 

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