The state’s decision to start isolation wards to treat swine flu patients in private hospitals will be taken only after approval from an expert committee.
State officials have selected 21 private hospitals from across the city, which could treat swine flu patients.
But of the 21, only one — Prince Aly Khan — has agreed to start the facility because it fulfills all state norms.
The norms include separate entrances, adequate number of ventilators (artificial respiration equipment) and independent air-conditioner units because common ducts of centrally air-conditioning system could spread the H1N1 virus in the entire hospital.
“Experts will review the facilities at these hospitals and if found fit, they would start treating swine flu cases,” said Sharvaree Gokhale, additional chief secretary, public health and family welfare.
“We will give them free medicines and essential support, but the hospitals will have to buy masks.”
She said the hospitals would be inspected from Wednesday. Gokhale added that the government will “use force” if any private hospital that is found fit for isolation refuses its request.
“We know many hospitals need to a break a wall or build a new one to create such a facility,” she said.
In addition to the two Indian Railway hospitals, Ambani, Lilavati, Nanavati, Bombay, Holy Family, Hiranandani, Inlaks, Gurunanak, Saifee and Wockhardt hospitals, among others, have responded to the state government’s appeal.
A team from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases is also likely to inspect the private hospitals.
However, throat swabs will have to be tested at the government facilities where additional machines are being installed.