June 6, 2020 12:41:29 am
Three days after the state government allowed private hospitals to conduct Covid-19 test without prior approval of government authority in case of an emergency medical procedure if prescribed by a physician, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) has written to principal secretary health Jayanti Ravi requesting her to allow hospitals to adopt the same testing policy in outpatient department (OPD). The new guidelines issued by the Gujarat government has allowed testing only on indoor patients.
“This will saturate the existing hospital infrastructure which is already stretched. It will also restrict the testing of mild cases, contacts, healthcare workers, patients with atypical symptoms and patients in incubation period. To control pandemic, we need to use testing liberally in OPD to reduce cross infection,” the letter stated.
“We appeal to allow Covid-19 testing on outpatient basis for all suspects, mild cases, contacts, healthcare workers, patients undergoing elective procedures and hospital admissions,” AHNA president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said.
Owing to a Gujarat High Court order of May 29, the state decided to do away with government approvals prior to testing before an emergency medical procedure if prescribed by a physician. The state health department, however, introduced a new clause in an official circular of June 2, stating that patients who are prescribed for a test owing to the need felt by their treating doctor will require to be admitted in a hospital “considering the possibility of contraction of an infection.”
In another representation submitted to Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who also holds the finance portfolio, the association complained about “no major announcement or relief for hospitals and nursing homes of Gujarat”.
Requesting several subsidies and financial assistance, AHNA asked the state government to immediately release the Maa Amrutam scheme dues till April 30 to all hospitals. The association has also demanded waiver in property tax for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.
Claiming that most of the hospitals are facing difficulties in paying salaries to their staff, the association has demanded Rs 10,000 per nurse per month towards salaries of nurses in private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.
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