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Private hospitals request time to set up swine flu wards

With the government asking private hospitals to start treatment of swine flu patients, the medical centres were given 15 days time by the Delhi Government to set up such specialised wards in their premises. Don't panic | What is H1N1? | Dos and don'ts| Special | Listen to podcastaudio

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2009 23:14 IST

With the government asking private hospitals to start treatment of swine flu patients, the medical centres were given 15 days time by the Delhi Government to set up such specialised wards in their premises.

Replying to a query over the issue of reluctance shown by some private hospitals in entertaining swine flu patients, Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said, "We have given them 15 days to put their system in place and if they do not have it, they will definitely be coming back to us".

"We have not got any negative reaction from anybody," Walia said reacting to the press statement issued by the Apollo hospital saying they cannot set up separate isolation wards immediately and need time to do so.

In a statement, Apollo hospital said it cannot put its patients at risk, many of who are immuno-compromised, by exposing them to infection. The mortality rate of H1N1 is one per cent in the normal population but it is significantly higher in people who are immuno-compromised.

"We are therefore not in a position to provide facilities for H1N1 screening, sample collection and in patient treatment in our campus for fear of cross infection," it said.

K Hari Prasad, CEO, Apollo hospital, Hyderabad, said, "The disease needs specific infrastructure which is normally
not available in regular hospitals. The infrastructure needs to be created, it needs to be appropriate and it needs to be
created in a manner which contains the disease from spreading.

Information officer of Delhi Health Department said Walia had a word with Chairperson of Apollo Group of hospital
Dr Pratap Reddy and he had assured full support for treatment of patients at its Delhi premises.

"Some of the hospital have begun to discuss what kind of expectations we have and where could they fix these beds.
It should come from them. It is something that is of permanent value to them," Wala said.

Meanwhile, only three positive cases of H1N1 Influenza have been reported in different hospitals here today, pushing
the number up to 315 positive cases of swine fLu. A total of 292 positive cases have been treated and sent home and
remaining are being treated.

So, we will be creating the infrastructure and we will not be doing it in the hospitals in the country because that
puts existing patients at risk."