Private hospitals may soon be bound by law to admit the accident victims. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), along with the state health department, is trying to amend the current legal provisions for the private hospitals and nursing homes to incorporate a clause which will make it mandatory for these institutions to admit and provide life support treatment to the victims.
The BMC has been receiving complaints about the private hospitals refusing to admit and treat accident cases for quite sometime. “But there is no legal provisions currently available for us to take any action though we are receiving many complaints,” said BMC executive health officer, Jayraj Thanekar.
States like West Bengal has recently amended their law to incorporate this clause — not allowing private hospital and bigger nursing homes to refuse a trauma patient. If they do, they are penalized which may lead to cancellation of their registration. “We learnt about such initiatives and trying to work towards creating a similar provision,” he said.
The state government will also have to play an important role. “We are also getting the health department to help us in this, because the law will have to come from the health department’s side,” said Thanekar.
According to doctors, vital time is wasted in transit for most trauma patients. “Every moment is important in a trauma case. Chances of recovering greatly depend on whether the person was taken to a hospital within first 45 minutes. In the US, an accident patient has to reach a hospital in 20 minutes,” claimed RK Verma, deputy dean of the Sion hospital.
Under such circumstances, this law will be extremely helpful, he claimed. “Even if the patient receives initial treatment and transferred to us after he stabilizes, the chances of survival is much higher without any deformity,” he said.
The surge in the accident cases in festive seasons was a regular phenomenon officials claimed. “After Holi, Govinda, and other festivals, people not only drive rash but they drive in groups, often after consuming intoxicants,” claimed acting dean of the KEM hospital, Avinash Supe.
Sion hospital, which receives maximum number of trauma cases in the city, gets 12 to 15 trauma cases a day. “The mass casualties increase post festive seasons as people travel in big groups with their minds off the roads,” said Sion hospital dean ME Yoelekar.
Other hospitals say that there has not been a marked increase in the number of cases. While Bhabha hospital and KEM are getting 10 to 12 cases a day, others have not seen a surge. “We are getting 3 to 4 bad cases and about 10 minor ones,” said Bhabha hospital acting medical superintendent SS Chirumule.