Visakhapatnam

Pvt. hospitals refusing to admit patients with general ailments

Managements fear virus may infect doctors and staff

With many hospitals, including the corporate ones, refusing to attend to general ailments, people suffering from various diseases are at their wits end. Hospitals are refusing to admit patients, including those suffering from cardiac problems, fearing the dreaded coronavirus may infect their doctors and staff.

A senior citizen went to see his daughter, who delivered a baby, at a maternity hospital in the city recently. The man complained of uneasiness in his chest. His daughter, who is a doctor, got an ECG done and on seeing it understood the condition was serious.

She asked her relatives to rush him to another hospital. The relatives were shocked when the staff declined to perform an angiogram on the plea of COVID-19 protocols. After failing to convince the hospital management for over two hours, the relatives shifted the patient to another hospital, where angioplasty and stenting were performed to clear the blocks.

This is not a solitary case, there are many others who are facing similar difficulties. A woman, who had to undergo surgery for hernia was asked to come only after the COVID-19 pandemic subsided.

She was, however, given some drugs which provided her temporary relief. Another woman, suffering from presbyopia, was asked by an ophthalmologist to wait for the pandemic to end. Many of the clinics and nursing homes are closed due to the pandemic.

“There are apprehensions among doctors and healthcare workers due to asymptomatic cases and the unpredictable pattern of COVID-19. Even If a single positive case is detected, the whole hospital has to be quarantined,” said a government doctor, on condition of anonymity.

“While routine surgeries can be postponed, emergencies have to be attended at all times and COVID-19 is no excuse,” he said.

“Private hospitals can’t refuse to treat emergencies, in the name of protocol. Elective surgeries are, however, not being done in view of the pandemic. We will soon come out with clear guidelines on treatment of other ailments,” P.V. Sudhakar, Principal, Andhra Medical College, told The Hindu, when the issue was brought to his notice.

“This is the reason why we have convinced the government not to declare the King George Hospital (KGH) as a COVID-19 hospital. Deliveries are being done at KGH and Victoria Government Hospital (VGH) and all emergencies, pertaining to heart, gastroenterology, burns, etc., are being attended at the KGH,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 7:52:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/pvt-hospitals-refusing-to-admit-patients-with-general-ailments/article31457414.ece

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