Majority of the 30 private hospitals enlisted by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for treatment of Covid-19 patients have refused to sign up upset over cap on treatment fees and absence of “many large hospitals in the list”.
None of the members of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes association (AHNA) has signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the corporation, said Dr Bharat Gadhavi, the president of the association.
In its fourth representation to Ahmedabad municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar on Wednesday, the association has requested the authorities to be ‘fair and transparent’ in selecting hospitals as “many large hospitals have been left out” in the list of these Covid-designated hospitals. It has also appealed to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who also holds the portfolio of health.
The association had submitted its first representation on May 7 expressing resentment over the corporation’s May 6 order to open clinics and nursing homes in the city within 48 hours. This was followed by a second representation citing its concerns over designating private hospitals as containment unit for isolating Covid-19 patients .
The association mentioned the absence of “expertise required for treating Covid patients” in smaller, super-specialty hospitals and said there are chances mortality will increase if they start treating Covid-19 patients.
Gujarat has the highest mortality rate of Covid-19 patients in the country. The association said that to contain this high mortality rate, patients need to be managed in hospitals that have excellent ICU facilities and a team of good physicians, critical care clinicians, anesthetics and paramedical staff with an expertise in ICU nursing.
“Most of the hospitals are super-specialty hospitals with a expertise in a particular area. So first try to accommodate patients in big hospitals as smaller hospitals will not able to treat COVID patients. We are not denying support to the government but there should be transparency and rationality,” said Gadhavi.
“Till all the large government, semi-government and trust hospitals are not filled, smaller hospitals should not be requisitioned.”
The private hospitals are also upset about cap on treatment cost. The hospitals have been asked to provide free services to patients, which will be reimbursed by government under various slabs. However, the association has demanded that they be allowed to charge patients as per their schedule, which will be different for each hospital.
Sources in the health department said the association’s demands are being considered. Already, the corporation had agreed to some of their earlier demands such as offering them financial compensation and incentives currently extended to AMC staff in case their staff get infected while on duty. The corporation has placed 25 AC buses at the disposal of Ahmedabad Medical Association for facilitating the movement of medical and paramedical staff of the private medical establishments.
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