Chennai

Private hospitals allowed to set up isolation wards

Private hospitals — especially those empanelled under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) — can now set up isolation wards for treating patients suspected to have COVID-19.

The Health Department has put in place protocols to allow private health facilities to establish isolation wards and treat patients, and this move is likely to bring more than 400 beds in isolation facilities in the private sector.

On Wednesday, the Health Department convened a meeting with nearly 150 private health facilities across the State through video-conferencing. Officials said many of these hospitals had expressed their willingness to establish isolation wards for COVID-19.

“Hospitals empanelled under the CMCHIS were part of the meeting. We have given them a set of instructions and protocols, allowing them to treat patients. If they suspect a person to be infected, they should immediately intimate the local health authority as it is a notifiable disease. This could be the deputy director of health services or Corporation health officials,” an official of the Health Department said.

A three-tier protected isolation ward should be set up, he said, adding: “There should be a reception area, ante-room and private isolation rooms that are single-bedded isolation rooms with attached restrooms. The entry to these isolation facilities should be restricted. All patients should be treated as per government-issued treatment protocols.”

If testing has to be done, the hospital should contact the respective health authority — deans, joint directors or deputy directors. They would take measures to conduct tests, only if required, he said.

Moderate or severe

“This is because not all patients suspected to have COVID-19 need testing. Testing is done only if a person has symptoms of moderate or severe intensity, travel history or contact with a person who has a travel history to any of the affected countries. In case of persons with moderate symptoms, we will look at extremes of age and co-morbid conditions,” the official said.

In addition, persons working at places that have public movement such as airports and railway stations would also fit the criteria. “The samples lifted will be sent for testing to government laboratories,” he said.

Officials said that the private hospitals should ensure that there is room for complaints. In case of queries, clinical establishments can contact the control room of the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 10:24:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/private-hospitals-allowed-to-set-up-isolation-wards/article31112171.ece

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