Private hospitals cannot deny treatment to Covid-19 patients

Gurugram, the district administration on Monday issued an order making it mandatory for all private hospitals and nursing homes to treat Covid-19 patients who require critical health services.

No private hospital in the city can refuse admitting a Covid-19 patient, who is already undergoing treatment for other health issues. Instances have been reported where patients have been denied treatment after they tested positive for Covid-19. The district has so far witnessed 284 cases of the virus.

Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, issued an order on Monday stating that private hospitals or nursing homes in Gurugram shall not refuse any patient approaching them for treatment of Covid-19 and other critical services. The order reads, “In the recent past it has come to notice that some private facilities are refusing to treat patients with symptoms of coronavirus and other critical services, which is a grave matter in times of such epidemic.” National capita Delhi has already directed all private hospitals to reserve 20% beds for Covid-19 patients.

As per the order, if any hospital or nursing home refuses treatment to any patient, action will be taken against them under the Epidemic Act.

Recently, a 25-year-old Covid-19 positive woman had to deliver her baby in Faridabad after a private hospital refused to admit her and Gurugram’s Civil Hospital turned her away for lack of facility for pregnant women who test positive for coronavirus. The health department, however, said that now they have converted its Sector 31 polyclinic as facility for Covid-19 pregnant women.

Once a patient tests Covid-19 positive in private hospitals, almost 90% of the time they are referred to Civil Hospital, Sector 10. This often leaves them in a lurch, said Dr Jaswant Singh Punia, chief medical officer.

“It has come to our notice that a person taking critical health services in a particular hospital, if detected with Covid-19, is immediately referred to the government hospital. Patients requiring special health treatment related to nephrology or cardiology cannot be left in a lurch even if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can prove to be detrimental to their health and even prove fatal.”

A member of the Indian Medical Association member, who preferred anonymity, said, “Nursing homes are not equipped to tackle Covid-19 patients, especially they require critical care. Big hospitals having proper equipment and facilities should be considered.”

Health officials said that private hospitals are referring out patients citing Medeor Hospital for critical Covid-19 patients. The 120-bed Medeor Hospital in Manesar is a designated Covid-19 hospital that was inaugurated this month for tertiary care. In Gurugram, 100-bed ESIC hospital and 30-bed Civil Hospital are admitting patients with Covid-19 symptoms. A few asymptomatic, especially male patients, are kept in Ssector 9 quarantine facility.

As per the order, with rising cases of people infected with the virus, it is necessary to ensure optimum utilization of available resources, like private hospitals and nursing homes, for treatment of Covid-19 patient so as to ensure appropriate medical care is provided to all patients. Interestingly, the district administration this month had issued an order directing only six private hospitals of the city to keep 100 beds ready for Covid-19 patients.

Despite all these arrangements, critical Covid-19 patients are shifted to PGIMS Rohtak. The city earlier this week reported two coronavirus deaths.- Hindustan Times

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