The first step to get private labs to help the government to do the testing will begin on Friday. Delhi’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will train two doctors each from Apollo Hospitals, Dr Dang’s and Dr Lal Pathlabs to conduct tests for H1N1.
After the training, the NCDC will send a few samples from on Monday to each lab for testing to gauge preparedness.
Chairman, Apollo Hospitals group, Dr Pratap C Reddy on Thursday morning said: “Our problem is that we don’t have the space and a separate entrance for bringing in swine flu patients. We suggested to the ministry officials that the government give us space. Infectious diseases are treated in an infectious disease hospital as the patients need to be kept in isolation.”
In a statement issued in the evening, the hospital said: “We want to help the government and are creating separate facilities to treat patients with H1N1 in isolation.”
Pervez Ahmed, chief executive officer for Max Healthcare, is miffed with the Delhi government for evoking the Act and making the 10-bedded isolated ward compulsory for the private sector.
“We will be more than willing to help if the government wants us to. But it certainly can’t be one sided draconian Act,” said Ahmed.
“These things cannot be implemented by force, they have to be discussed across the table. We have to discuss all modalities like testing kits, medication, masks.”
Fortis group of hospitals can get out of the situation on a technicality. “None of our facilities in Delhi are 200-bedded or multi-specialty, so we don’t qualify as yet. But if the need arises, we will create facilities,” said Dr Ashok Chordiya, director, Fortis Hospital, Noida.
Moolchand Hospital has agreed to create space after they get the guidelines from the government.
“Private hospitals really don’t have a choice, they have to make space for swine flu patients,” said J P Singh, principal secretary (health) for Delhi.