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MP health department, pvt hospitals at loggerheads over swine flu treatment

bhopal Updated: Jan 24, 2015 15:59 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh health department’s gag on private hospitals and nursing homes on furnishing the figures of swine flu deaths to the media has angered doctors in private healthcare facilities.

The health department on Wednesday warned nursing homes and private hospitals to refrain from giving figures of swine flu deaths to the media, failing which their licences would be cancelled.

The department has asked private hospitals and nursing homes to report all swine flu cases being treated by them and maintain daily case sheets, which would be reviewed by a committee set up for by the government.

The private healthcare facilities were asked to submit a daily report to the committee.

Doctors said that government was questioning their basic medical expertise and creating an atmosphere of mistrust and fear.

Private hospitals share the burden of the health department and help the government in delivering better healthcare facilities to the society, said Bhopal unit president of Madhya Pradesh Nursing Home Association Dr Umesh Sharda.

“We are responsible medical practitioners and know how to treat and diagnose the patients,” he said.

“If the government has some issue with us, they can call us and tell us directly, instead of issuing warnings through media. We want to work together with the government on fighting swine flu.”

Fear of being targeted by the government, a doctor at a private nursing home speaking on condition of anonymity said, “We understand that there should be no unnecessary panic… suppressing the information regarding swine flu can not only create more misinformation, it can prove to be dangerous.”

“If government doesn’t trust us…let them open swine flu centres and treat the patients on their own or let the expert committee members… check whether we doing our duty responsibly or not,” he said.

The association’s advisor Dr Anoop Hajela, however, said it was vital for private healthcare facilities not to declare any swine flu case until tests proved positive.

“If some private hospitals give information about swine flu deaths when the confirmations have not come, it can create panic,” he said.

State director health (integrated disease surveillance programme) Dr KL Sahu said the government does not want any panic on swine flu as it will hamper the delivery of the healthcare.

Notice to hospital for ‘wrong’ treatment

A show-cause notice was served to Akshaya Heart Hospital in Bhopal on Thursday on the charges of administering wrong treatment to a swine flu patient, who died here on Tuesday. Principal secretary Pravir Krishn said the 56-year-old woman was first treated for cardiac issues and renal failure for the first six days. The doctors then began treating her for swine flu in the last two days.

“Nobody dies of swine flu in just two days. Had they treated her for swine flu well in advance, she might have survived,” he said.

However, when contacted, hospital chief executive officer Dr Deepak Chaturvedi denied the charges of wrong treatment. He said the patient was admitted to another hospital between January 13 and 18, 2014.

“She was admitted to our hospital on the evening of January 18. She had a cardiac arrest when she entered the hospital. We immediately assessed her situation and on the morning of January 19, we sent her swab samples to a laboratory in Jabalpur for confirmation of swine flu. We treated her for swine flu but she succumbed to the disease on Tuesday,” he added.