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Friday, May 07, 2021

Covid-19: UP govt drops mandatory referral rule for admission to private hospitals

In govt hospitals, old rule still valid for 70% beds, 30% beds to be allocated to medical urgency cases

Lucknow |
April 23, 2021 4:17:13 am
Police keep vigil to check black marketing of medical oxygen in Lucknow Thursday.

Amid rising complaints of difficulty in hospital admission for Covid patients in Uttar Pradesh, the state government on Thursday dropped the mandatory referral requirement from Integrate Covid Command Centres for a patient to get admitted to a private hospital.

While such referral will be required for getting admission to a government hospital, the government said that a portion of beds in government hospitals would be kept aside for medical emergency cases in which no such referrals would be required.

“As per the current system, once the command centre gets information about a Covid positive patient, officials there speak to the person on phone and then decide if the person is in need of hospitalisation. However, with several districts reporting a surge in active Covid cases, the system was not working properly and patients were facing issues. Therefore, with immediate effect, a positive patient can now get admission at a private hospital on its own on the basis of his or her Covid test report. These hospitals will, however, keep just 10 per cent of its beds reserved for admission on referral from the command centres,” Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad directed the officials through a letter.

The new rule will be valid till the end of June.

“In health department’s hospitals, government medical colleges and private medical colleges, admission on 70 per cent of the available beds will be through command centres, while the rest 30 per cent beds can be used by the hospital authorities to admit patients under medical emergency. Both the private and government hospitals will have to release their data on the number of category-wise available beds (isolation beds, oxygen beds and ICU beds) every day at 8 am and 4 pm. The district administration will have to provide the details of category wise beds, address, details of the nodal officer and rate of treatment at private hospitals in newspapers and on their district website,” it added.

The government’s decision to do away with the referral rule comes following widespread criticism of it by the Opposition parties.

In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had slammed the “red-tapism” in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that lives were lost because patients needed permission from the district chief medical officers to get admission in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the state recorded a new high in daily Covid infections with 34,379 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active cases to 2.59 lakh. The number of deaths registered in the past 24 hours was 195 – also the highest so far.

Lucknow reported the highest new cases at 5,239, followed by 2,013 in Prayagraj, 1,813 in Varanasi, 1,684 in Meerut, 1,516 in Kanpur Nagar, 1,136 in Gorakhpur and 1,023 in Ghaziabad. The state capital reported the maximum 19 deaths followed by Allahabad and Kanpur -18 each, Varanasi- 10, Gautam Buddh Nagar 11 among others, it added.

Earlier in the day, Adityanath directed the health department to provide oxygen concentrators to districts with high Covid-19 burden. An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream.

The CM also condoled the demise of Covid patients in the state and extended his sympathies and deepest condolences for the bereaved families.

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