Health centres directed to remain open, beds added at private hospitals for Covid patients
The Delhi government has directed all clinics, hospitals and nursing homes, including private ones, to remain open for the treatment of non-Covid patients. The hospitals have been threatened with cancellation of licence for not complying with the order.
“Non-compliance will be viewed seriously and action as per provisions of law, including cancellation of registration of the defaulter hospitals and nursing homes will be initiated without further notice,” the order stated.
Hospitals have been asked not to refuse treatment to anyone, other than suspected Covid-19 patients, and ensure essential services like delivery of children, haemodialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy, treatment of chronic as well as communicable diseases, such as TB and leprosy.
“Several clinics and nursing homes started opening up and scaling up their services after April 20. However, we need to ensure that while people receive treatment, healthcare workers do not get infected. The government should provide masks and PPE kits to private clinics and small nursing homes as they are already in a lot of financial trouble because of the lockdown and this burden should not be added. Also, there should be aggressive testing to detect the asymptomatic carriers so that the chances of unknowingly getting exposed are reduced,” said Dr Girish Tyagi, president, Delhi Medical Association.
“Plus, the government has to sort out the border closure issues and ensure public transport for healthcare workers to ensure that the clinics remain open,” he said.
For the treatment of Covid-19 patients, Delhi government has started two more paid isolation facilities at private hospitals in the city, adding 220 beds for Covid-19 patients — 120-bed Sir Ganga Ram City Hospital on Pusa Road and 100 at the Maha Durga Charitable Trust in Model Town — taking the total to 412.
Those testing positive for the virus can opt to stay at these hospitals and pay the hospitals directly.
Until now, Indraprastha Apollo hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Kolmet and Max Super Speciality hospital in Saket were the designated private hospitals for treating Covid-19 patients.
“In view of the shortage of isolation beds at private hospitals, following private hospitals are also declared as Covid hospitals for admitting confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19,” the Delhi government order read.
“Two of the hospitals — with 162 beds in total — affiliated with Sir Ganga Ram will now treat Covid-19 patients. The main hospital in Rajinder Nagar will remain for the treatment of non-Covid-19 patients only,” the hospital said.
Two dedicated Delhi government hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients — Lok Nayak and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality — have 2,500 beds in total for Covid-19 patients. There are at least 500 beds for Covid-19 patients in the four Central government-run hospitals — AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital, and Lady Hardinge Medical College.
The government has also directed Lok Nayak Hospital to run its dialysis centre all hours throughout the week, to provide services to kidney disease patients who also have Covid-19.