The Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi on Thursday refused to provide any facility for the treatment of swine flu patients, a day after the Delhi government asked all private hospitals with 200-bed or more capacity to reserve 10 seats and an isolation ward for the virus affected. The government said it will take legal action against the hospital.
"The mortality rate of H1N1 cases is one per cent in the normal population but is significantly higher in people who are immuno-compromised. We are, therefore, not in a position to provide facilities for H1N1 flu screening, sample collection and in-patient treatment on our campus for fear of cross infection," the hospital said in a statement.
"We are committed to providing the highest quality of medical care. We would like to do everything possible with respect to the H1N1 pandemic as well. However, we cannot put our patients, many of whom are immuno-compromised, at risk by exposing them to the infection," the Apollo Hospital said in its statement.
"We have offered our laboratories for testing the samples (collected outside our campus) if they meet with the government standards and specifications," the statement added.
Reacting to the development, the Delhi government said it will take legal action after getting an official communication from the hospital.
"The law is inherent in such situations and private hospitals have to comply with it. We haven't heard anything officially from Apollo Hospital and will take necessary legal action once we hear from them," state Health Minister Kiran Walia said.
"We have given 15 days time to all private hospitals having more than 200 beds to keep at least 10 beds with isolation facility," she added.
Meanwhile, some private laboratories Thursday said they will carry out swine flu tests in national capital region after getting a go ahead from the state government.
"A team of government experts had come to inspect our labs Wednesday but we are yet to get a go ahead. I need at least four days after the government approval to carry out swine flu tests," Navin Dang, chief of Dr Dang's Laboratories said.
"It is a huge responsibility on my shoulder and I want to make everything right," Dang said whose laboratories are BSL-2 efficient.