Swine flu patients who are on ventilator support (from March 2) could be entitled to reimbursement of hospital expenses. The state government has taken the decision but is yet to announce a formal decision. A meeting was held to discuss the issue and necessary directives were issued to health officials to prepare a list of beneficiaries.
State Principal Secretary (Health) Sujata Saunik discussed the issue with state and district health officials on Monday, in a meeting held through video-conferencing. Dr Kanchan Jagtap, Joint Director of Health, said a government resolution is yet to be received but the process includes sending lists of patients from each municipal corporation area or district area to the civil surgeon for scrutiny.
In Pune, a list of 43 swine flu patients and 15 from Pimpri Chinchwad have been prepared and sent to authorities concerned, Dr H H Chavan, Deputy Director, Pune circle, said. Here, it may be recalled that while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced free treatment for swine flu patients, State Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant later clarified that they will decide on the modalities in two-three days.
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On Monday, state health officials admitted that a cut-off date of March 2 -patients who were discharged before this deate will be excluded -had been discussed. Information about critically ill patients on ventilator support would be collected and sent to the state for reimbursement of hospital expenses. The expenses would be decided as per Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates, Chavan added.
There have been 293 swine flu deaths across the state and 3,483 cases since January. There have been 59 deaths registered by Pune Municipal Corporation. One more death was registered by Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation – that of 53-year-old Sharada Gunjal from Junnar – who availed of treatment from Star hospital here. There have been 21 deaths registered by PCMC.
Meanwhile, health officials discussed the trend where cases have been gradually decreasing, Dr Kanchan Jagtap said.
On Monday, District Collector Saurabh Rao said that following a decrease in swine flu cases at Nanded and Akola, stock of oseltamivir (anti-viral medicines) were sent to Pune. Special orientation camps will be held for people’s representatives and headmasters of schools to sensitize them.
“During a discussion with officials of the National Institute of Virology (NIV), we decided that collection of throat swab is no more necessary and doctors are being asked to treat patients symptomatically. We increased the number of medical shops to 205 where the drug would be available,” he added.
Another important step, Rao said, was mapping patients. For that, a door-to-door survey is being conducted near the homes of patients. “Special screening of high-risk groups like people with co-morbidity, senior citizens and pregnant women is being undertaken across the district,” he said.
A total of 57 doses of Naso Vac – nasal spray vaccine against H1N1 virus — were available on Monday morning. At Serum Institute, researchers said one lakh doses will be manufactured. However, it will take 45 more days before the vaccine hits the market, Dr Rajeev Dhere, Executive Director of Serum Institute of India said.