Display bed availability, hospitals told - ECAS Punjab

Display bed availability, hospitals told

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31

As the Covid-19 patient load is increasing in Punjab, which saw its highest-ever spike with 665 cases today, the state government has decided to rein in private hospitals, asking them to charge patients at the rates prescribed by the government.

Pilot project in two districts

  • Government launches pilot project in Ludhiana and Jalandhar to rein in private players
  • All private hospitals need to display the total number of beds reserved for Covid patients and the number of beds that have been occupied

The government has made it mandatory for all private hospitals to display the total beds they have reserved for Covid care, the number of beds that have been occupied and the number of beds available. Each hospital has been asked to display a dashboard at a prominent place, specifying this information. At the instance of Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, a pilot project has been initiated in two districts —Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

As of now, there are 1,149 active cases in Ludhiana and 1,701 active cases in Jalandhar — the highest in the state. Both districts also have the best secondary and tertiary private health infrastructure in the state and patients from other districts are also referred here for treatment.

After the state capped the cost for treatment in private hospitals and medical colleges (from Rs 4,500 to a maximum of Rs 18,000 per day) earlier this month, there were reports of many private hospitals turning down patients on the pretext that all beds were occupied. The need to cap the cost was felt after reports emerged that several patients had to pay lakhs of rupees for treatment in some private hospitals. Once the pilot project succeeds in these two districts, it will be emulated across the state.

Varinder Kumar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, told The Tribune that the seven private hospitals empanelled for Covid care had begun displaying the dashboards and the district administration was monitoring them on a regular basis. "We have developed a mobile app to give out this information to the public, which will be available for download within a day or so," he added.

Other than this, the government, exercising its power under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 (Covid-19 Regulation 2020), has also fixed the treatment charges for patients referred by government hospitals to private hospitals for tertiary care, requiring high dependency and intensive care. The cost of treatment incurred by the private hospitals will be reimbursed as per CGHS, Chandigarh, rates, while the cost of drugs and consumables will be reimbursed as per the actual cost.

Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the government was doing all within its power to stop any profiteering by private healthcare providers. 'Private hospitals have to agree to these guidelines or face the music," he added.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2PauzTE

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