Amid reports of people facing difficulties in getting patients admitted to Covid hospitals, the Delhi government has issued an order that puts the onus on a hospital that is unable to provide treatment to transfer the patient elsewhere.
“If bed with the level facilities (oxygen support or ventilator) is not available at the hospital, it would be the sole responsibility of the hospital to transfer the patient to other hospitals, and till that happens, the hospital would provide available medical facilities,” states the order issued by Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla. The guidelines also spell out instructions on how hospitals must handle suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients — from the time they enter the reception until they are discharged.
On Friday, the city recorded 1,330 fresh Covid cases, taking the total number of cases to 26,334. The health department has recorded 58 more deaths, with 25 reported in the last 24 hours. A total of 708 people have died so far, taking the mortality rate to 2.7%. The city’s recovery rate is 39% while the national recovery rate is 48%. Till Friday, Delhi had performed 2,41,693 tests.
Hospitals have also been asked to set up a 24×7 helpline number that can be dialed by patients in case they face difficulty in admission, treatment or grievances related to food, medical care, hygiene and sanitation.
According to the order, a Covid patient must be brought to the triage area from the ambulance/ vehicle, without asking for details, within 15 minutes. The move is aimed at addressing complaints of delay in admission.
While completing admission formalities, the patient will have to be provided seating space depending on his medical condition. The doctor on triage duty must attend to the patient within 60 minutes depending on the urgency, the order said.
“Refreshments should be made available to the patient in the triage area. The patient must not be made to stay in the triage area for more than three hours,” the order added. It also states that all admitted patients must be provided “timely morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea, dinner and fruits twice a day”.
Meanwhile, with the surge in cases in the past one week, demands for beds and isolation wards have increased. The health department has asked all five Delhi government Covid hospitals to upgrade themselves in a phased manner, with the addition of ventilators, oxygen beds and recovery observation beds. The five hospitals will have 4,750 beds, which have to be added in three phases.
On availability of beds, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said: “There are some misleading reports that there is shortage of beds for corona patients in Delhi because a few private hospitals are refusing admissions. The truth is, there is absolutely no shortage of beds… Even now, we have close to 5,000 vacant beds. So clearly, the issue is that some hospitals are not updating the data on Delhi Corona app on time or misrepresenting actual data when patients call. Patients were not getting data on hospitals before, which the Delhi corona app is trying to fix. We are making hospital bed data live and real-time soon.”
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