A day after announcing a reshuffle in top posts at 23 government hospitals, Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Wednesday said the government will start evening OPDs in 11 dispensaries as a pilot project to address long waiting lists.
He made the announcement at a press conference called to highlight the achievements of his department during his one month in governance. “We are trying evening OPDs as a pilot measure. If it works out, we will replicate it in dispensaries and hospitals,”Jain said.
He said in the next seven days, the government would also bring in a system for people to apply for death certificates online from municipal bodies using numbers of hospital discharge slips of patients.
“Currently, death certificates can be taken after 21 days of a person’s demise from a hospital. With the new system, people can apply online directly to the municipal body,” Jain said.
Hospitals have also been asked to upgrade their mortuary infrastructure to “ensure dignity of the dead”, and have been instructed that handing over of a body to family members must not be delayed on any account, including “delay in payment for treatment”.
In an effort to computerise health records, the government is starting another pilot project at Lok Nayak Hospital from February 15. “We are also trying a consolidated mechanism of drug purchase to ensure availability of all drugs in hospitals. Currently, there are about 40 points of purchase and there are a lot of complaints regarding drugs not being available in hospitals. We hope a centralised system will solve this,” Jain said.
For ensuring seamless treatment of patients from the economically weaker section (EWS) in private hospitals, all hospitals have been instructed to set up dedicated help desks and also display their rate charts accordingly, if any.
“Often, patients are handed over bills at the end of their hospital stay with no prior notification. So, we have asked hospitals to display rates,” Jain said. All hospitals, including private and central government ones, have been asked to provide free treatment for the first 24 hours to victims of sexual assault, rape, and acid attack.
All hospitals have also been asked not to pressurise patients to purchase prescribed medicines from hospital pharmacies. “Patients have the freedom to buy drugs from any pharmacy of their choice where they get the maximum discount. All government hospitals have been instructed to prescribe generic drugs. We also request private hospitals to follow this,”Jain said.
The Delhi government is strengthening its state-level commission to monitor female foeticide and sex determination.
“In the last four years, Delhi’s sex ratio has been declining progressively. In the next one year, we will do whatever it takes to ensure it is stabilised,”Jain said.
Long-pending projects of the Delhi government, including the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital in Tahirpur, will be started in the next five months, he said.
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