Fearing that the already stressed healthcare infrastructure would be “overwhelmed” in the coming days with further surge in Covid cases, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) has requested the state government and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to lift restrictions on private hospitals and act as “enablers” rather than “restrictors”.
In a letter to the additional chief secretary forests and environment, Rajiv Kumar Gupta, on Thursday, AHNA requested that healthcare facilities with more than five beds, registered with the AMC, should be allowed to treat Covid patients instead of designating health care facilities.
A copy of the letter was also sent to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Chief Secretary Anil Mukim and Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar.
“Please do away with inspections… separate entry or exits are not required now since there is community spread… An application by a facility stating that they will follow the charges as determined by the Gujarat High Court and packages defined by AHNA, update the patients data with the AMC and follow the clinical protocols… should be enough,” the representation states.
AHNA has further suggested to assign large hospitals with more than 100 beds to be designated as mother hospitals in a “cluster” that will have several nursing homes and hospitals.
It has also sought to mandate every multispecialty hospital, large or small, to assign minimum 20 per cent of their beds for Covid patients. “Do away with Covid or non-Covid hospitals. Every hospital must treat Covid patients. Ask every hospital to join this battle. The efforts will fall apart if some hospitals are left out…,” it said.
Requesting to remove all AMC reserved beds from private hospitals citing that most of these patients are affluent and can afford the treatment costs, AHNA stated, “As has been seen, the current wave (or Tsunami??) has witnessed most patients from the western part of the city who are affluent. Please remove all AMC paid beds from the private hospitals and allow all private hospitals to admit self-paying patients on those beds. The patients who are non-affording, are in very small numbers…”
Adding that almost 300 AMC beds have been vacant for many days while patients who are ready to pay have to search for vacant beds, the letter said that most of the beneficiaries of the AMC paid beds “are people who have connections in the corridors of power”.
“Instead of reserving beds, AMC should devise a system to pass on benefits to the identified non-affording patients who must get admitted in these private hospitals,” it said.
AHNA has also framed the criteria for admission, discharge and transfer of Covid patients. “The government/AMC hospitals can also implement the same so that more beds are made available. We strongly believe that the above actions will make more beds available for Covid treatment on immediate basis and we will be able to prevent the disastrous consequences that can happen in the next two to three weeks, if the flow of patients continues in the same manner,” AHNA president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said.
The association strongly believes that the numbers will further increase, and the healthcare infrastructure is going to be overwhelmed if immediate action is not taken, Gadhavi added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines