Odisha allows treatment of COVID-19 patients at private hospitals

Bhubaneswar: In a significant decision, the Odisha Government today issued advisory allowing treatment of COVID-19 patients at private hospitals in the state.

“It is observed that the private hospitals are treating the non-COVID cases, but when they find such patients to be COVID-19 positive during the process of treatment, they immediately request the Government machinery to shift the case to a COVID facility set up by the Government. It eventually caused a large surge of patients in such COVID facilities,” the Health Department said in a notification.

After careful examination, the State Government has formulated the following guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients at private hospitals.

* All asymptomatic or mild cases shall be sent to institutional quarantine/home isolation or any paid CCC run by the private hospital.

* Interested private hospitals shall designate a minimum of 10% of all beds to be reserved for the COVID patients with an option to convert the entire hospital as a COVID hospital. However, they have to register themselves before starting COVID treatment on the following link: https://covid19regd.odisha.gov.in/ccc/cccregistration.aspx.

* Such reserved beds must include appropriate numbers of ICU beds with ventilators dedicated for COVID patients. (At the rate of 10% of all available beds).

* There must be a separate fever clinic and facility for isolation of suspected cases. When the suspected cases come out to be positive they shall be shifted to the COVID beds provided the patient wants to take the services of the hospital on payment of fees.

* Only those patients who want to pay on their own or covered under their own insurance shall be treated in the hospital. No reimbursement or payment of any kind towards the treatment of such patients will be made by the government.

* The hospital must provide all possible treatment as per the guidelines for the management of Covid-19 patients issued by the Ministry of Health, Government of India from time to time. As the COVID patients are usually with high anxiety level they must always be handled very gently and proper and regular counselling shall be done regarding the status of disease and the outcome of treatment.

* Adequate number of the consumables like Oxygen, PPEs, sanitizers, etc must be available.

* The Infection Prevention & Control measures must be taken as per Govt. of India guidelines so that the infection never spreads to the other non-COVID patients.

* The staff managing the COVID patients shall take utmost care and prevention so that they themselves do not contract the disease. They shall work for 14 days and shall go for quarantine for another 14 days after which they can again come back to patient duty.

* All the tests must be done at the approved rate notified by the Government.

* Newer drugs shall be rationally and judiciously prescribed and used.

* Hospital shall charge reasonable fees from a patient and refrain from collecting exorbitant fees, failing which strict action will be taken against the hospital.

* The discharge policy of the state shall be strictly followed. The patients or the dead body shall not be detained for non-payment of fees.

* The institution shall develop mechanism for collection of bill amount on a day to day basis so that a lump sum amount never remains pending.

* Dead body disposal shall be done strictly as per the Government India/State Government guidelines.

* All patients’ data shall be uploaded in the designated portal or social media group in the appropriate format.

* All guidelines related to Covid-19 issued by Government of India or State Government shall be followed scrupulously.

* The hospital shall regularly share all information to the Govt. regarding the availability of the facility, patient information, line of treatment, availability of beds, price charged etc.

* The hospital shall provide the COVID-19 test result to the patient.

* The hospital shall allow one willing attendant of the patient to remain in the earmarked place in the hospital premise while ensuring prevention of cross-infection.

* The hospital shall create a help desk accessible physically and telephonically for counselling to relatives of patients and share information on status of health to attendants of the patient regularly. 

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