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Private hospitals told to reserve 25% beds for Covid patients

Clinics not cooperating will be booked under Disaster Management Act, says health minister Gupta
An isolation ward in Ranchi.

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 08.04.21, 09:47 PM

Jharkhand health secretary K.K. Soan has directed all private hospitals to reserve at least 25 per cent of their beds for Covid patients and work on increasing the number of Covid beds every three to four days.

Addressing a meeting with representatives of private hospitals on Thursday, Soan directed all private hospitals to provide updates on Covid beds and patients to the district administration every six hours.

The health secretary encouraged home isolation for asymptomatic patients. Besides, he asked all private hospitals to mention treatment charges for  Covid patients on their website and also on the hospital premises in order to avoid confusion and unpleasantness while clearing final bills. “All private hospitals have to mention the per-day treatment charges for Covid patients on their websites as well as in notices pasted on the hospital premises,” he said.

While the government claims many Covid beds in private hospitals were vacant, hospital managements have maintained that all their Covid beds were occupied since the last week of March. Many private hospitals also fear that increasing the count of Covid beds would make it difficult to segregate Covid and non-Covid patients. However, after Thursday’s meeting, they agreed to reserve 25 per cent beds for Covid patients and also increase the count of Covid beds gradually.

State health minister Banna Gupta came down heavily on private hospitals that did not attend the meeting on Thursday and directed the health department to send out showcause notices to the absentee hospitals. A visibly furious Gupta also directed officials to hold surprise inspections at the premises of the private hospitals that skipped the meeting. He also warned all private healthcare facilities of action under the Disaster Management Act if they violate or tweak rules set by the state government while treating Covid patients.

Private hospitals, he said, played an important role in fighting the second wave of the pandemic, and the government expected them to be cooperate. Private facilities treating Covid patients should not charge exorbitant fees but follow the  slabs set by the government, the minister added while talking to the representatives of private hospitals in Ranchi on Thursday.

“All necessary medicines needed for Covid treatment should be made available to private as well as government healthcare facilities,” said Gupta, asking the State Drug Directorate to provide sanitisers and other necessary medicines in sufficient quantity.

During the meeting, State National Health Mission (NHM) Director Ravi Shankar Shukla asked hospitals to prioritise symptomatic patients while providing Covid beds. Oxygen cylinders, he said, would be provided within two to three days of requisition to all private hospitals.


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