Three days after the Association of Private Hospitals and Private Practitioners – collectively called as “SETU” — shared a list of 61 hospitals which have offered to treat Covid-19 patients in Vadodara, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Sunday issued a notification empanelling 31 of them as designated Covid-19 hospitals for the isolation of patients in Vadodara city and the district jurisdiction. The notification for the requisition order under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987 was signed by VMC Commissioner Nalin Upadhyay.
“The ‘SETU’ jointly submitted a proposal for designating 1,000 beds in Vadodara for the treatment of Covid-19 patients after due consultation and deliberation amongst the association and its members. They have submitted the availability of such hospitals in two segments. The VMC and district administration have reviewed the proposal, verified the healthcare facilities offered and decided to designate the hospitals for use as Covid-19 hospitals in a phased manner. The phases have been decided in view of the anticipated progression of disease based on scientifically projected estimates,” notification stated.
The notification which will be effective from June 1 until further notice, said, “The hospitals designated in the first phase will be reviewed periodically for adherence to protocols and standards of care. The number of hospitals and beds required will be reviewed and increased in coming days depending on the caseload and disease progression.”
The hospitals are now under the purview of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987 and according to the VMC notice “shall be deemed to have committed a punishable offence under section 188 of Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) for any violation of provisions under the regulation”.
The hospitals will not be able to charge patients above the ceiling rates prescribed in the schedule, which have been decided by the association itself. The VMC, which will now execute a formal agreement with the hospitals, has also explicitly made it mandatory for all staff to be employed in their current hospitals until specific permission is given by the authorities for any change. “Doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will continue to discharge their duties at the same hospital or workplace as before. No change in hospital or workplace is allowed without prior permission of VMC or district authorities,” the notice states.
The association on Thursday offered the VMC a list of 61 hospitals in two segments — Segment 1 “without ICU facilities” and Segment 2 of “large corporate level infrastructure facilities” — who have agreed to treat Covid-19 patients.
The VMC notification has also approved the charges decided by the hospitals according to the segment. Thus, Segment 1 hospitals will charge Rs 6,000 per day for Level 1 and 8,500 for ICU level 1 beds, while Segment 2 hospitals will charge for four categories. These include a bed in the ward for Rs 8,500, ICU Level 1 for Rs 12,500, Isolation and ICU for Rs 18,000 per day and ventilation support along with isolation and ICU at Rs 21,500 per day. The proposal states that the rates put forth include “costs of all medicines except Tocilizumab”, which is a drug used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis but has been used as an alternative treatment for critical Covid-19 patients.
The costs also do not include dialysis rates needed by any patient as well as special doctor visit fees and specialized lab tests, the proposal states. It defines special doctor visits as “specific super-specialists like nephrologists, cardiologists, etc and would not apply to in-house medical officers, intensivists and physicians”. The hospitals have also offered breakfast, two meals and evening snacks for the patient in the rates listed above.
Officer on Special Duty for COVID19 to Vadodara, Vinod Rao, said, “Today we have shifted 19 patients from Gotri Hospital. Of these, 15 have been admitted to Dhiraj Hospital and four to Parul Hospital. Over the next four days, we will divert 100 to 150 patients to these empanelled hospitals so that there is no overload on the state-run Gotri and SSG COVID19 Hospitals.”
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