There have been many reports which state few private hospitals in Delhi are refusing admissions to the COVID-19 patients and demanding a whopping fee for allotting beds to those in an importunate need.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a stern warning against these private hospitals for lying about the number of vacant beds and turning away COVID-19 positive patients.
Kejriwal said the government has come to know of a few hospitals refusing admission to COVID-19 patients and indulging in “black-marketing of beds”.
While addressing a virtual press conference on Saturday, he said, “We will take strong action against such hospitals and they cannot refuse patients. Some time will be needed to break the mafia who are indulging in it. These few hospitals have political connections but they should not be under the illusion that their political masters can save them”.
Turning down all the controversies regarding the availability of beds Kejriwal clarified there is no dearth of hospital beds in the national capital to treat COVID-19. He said, “Against 8,645 total available beds, 4,038 are occupied and 4,067 vacant. These are real beds, not mere figures”. He added that the Delhi government will deploy medical professionals at every private hospital to ensure patients are aware of the number of beds available and they are admitted without much trouble.
CM Kejriwal said there are a few private hospitals indulged in unethical practices and maligning the reputation of other hospitals as well. “I am not saying all private hospitals are bad. Private hospitals in the city have played an important role in our battle against the coronavirus. But there are some hospitals which are asking for money from the patients to provide them a bed. This is called black marketing of beds and we will not allow it. On Friday, we met the owners of 33 private hospitals and the meeting with others will continue today (Saturday). If you have an issue in reserving 20% beds then you can convert into a full COVID hospital,” he said.
Concerning the same, an FIR has been lodged against the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) for allegedly violating CIVID-19 regulation norms as specified under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with PTI, the complainant is a senior official of the Delhi government’s health department. There was no immediate reaction from the authorities of the SGRH.
During the virtual press briefing, Kejriwal said the Delhi government would issue an order making it obligatory for hospitals to admit and treat patients who were in moderate to serious condition even if Covid-19 tests hadn’t been conducted on them or test results were still awaited.
By evening, the order was out by the health department obligating that “no patient who is having COVID-19 symptoms and is in a moderate and severe category be denied admission on the pretext that the patient is not having COVID positive report”. All such patients should be kept in the COVID suspect patient area until the test report is received. “Accordingly, if found positive, then she/he shall be kept in the COVID hospital and otherwise transferred to non-COVID hospital for further management,” the order read.
Recently, the government issued notices to six private labs for scorning the ICMR guidelines of testing. The CM said that Delhi was conducting the highest number of tests in the country. He claimed, “Action has been taken against six labs that were not performing their duties competently, but 36 labs are still functional and samples are collected regularly”. He added, people could also go to flu clinics and testing centers for the tests.
The CM appealed to asymptomatic people to not get themselves tested for COVID-19. He said, “The priority is to save the lives of the people. Those with mild symptoms or are asymptomatic will recover. Delhi has a population of 2 crore people and if 10,000 people will go for testing every day, the testing capacity will fall short. Asymptomatic people should not insist on getting tested. If they are going to get tested then the serious patients will suffer”.
Another virtual press conference is held by the Kejriwal on Sunday, He said, the Delhi government hospitals and some private hospitals will be reserved only for residents of the national capital. He declared that Delhi will unseal its borders tomorrow (Monday), which were sealed thinking that Delhi hospitals will be deluged with people from other states.
“For now, we have decided that the 10,000 beds under the Delhi government will be kept for residents. The beds under the Central government can be utilized by all. Private hospitals covering special treatment will be opened to all” the CM said.
The decision is made on the advice of a special five-member committee of doctors formed. The committee reckoned that by the end of June, Delhi will need 15,000 beds. “They believe that the 9,000 beds that are currently with us will be taken over in three days if we allow people from other states to take admission”, said Kejriwal.
The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi has been coiling over the last week, registering a blow of more than a thousand patients every day. The total number of cases in the capital has now crossed 27,000.
Source: ANI & PTI