Kasaragod patients’ insistence on choice of hospitals puts DK officials in a fix

Police keeping vigil on movement of vehicles and people at the Karnataka-Kerala border at Talapady on NH 66 near Mangaluru on Saturday.  

At a time when the Dakshina Kannada district administration is putting measures in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, some people from Kasaragod in Kerala insisting that they be allowed to get treatment in private hospitals of their choice and not the designated hospital, in Mangaluru has put the administration in a tight spot.

Only emergency cases from Kerala are being allowed into Mangaluru for treatment after the Supreme Court intervention.

“Since the number of positive cases as well as number of people under quarantine in Kasaragod is very high, every patient entering Karnataka has to be seen with caution and as a potential carrier of the virus. Not every hospital in the city is COVID-19-ready. K.S. Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA) with 1,400 beds came forward to help the administration to get Kasaragod emergency patients by reserving an entire floor,” said Sandeep Rai, president of Association of Medical Consultants, Mangaluru, and professor of paediatrics with KSHEMA.

A National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare-accredited hospital, KSHEMA treated the 10-month-old baby from Bantwal for COVID-19, who was discharged on Saturday. This is the designated hospital for patients coming from Kerala since the district administration decided not to expose every hospital to risky cases, said Dr. Rai said.

Of the “emergency” cases received by KSHEMA since Wednesday, only one, a case of heart attack, needed emergency treatment. Others appeared to be “decoy patients”, who went back and spoke to media channels in Kerala levelling allegations on the hospital and the district administration, Dr. Rai alleged.

Regarding reports of doctors temporarily stationed at Kerala’s part of Talapady issuing medical certificates to patients arriving from Kasaragod, Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B. Rupesh said only medical officers at taluk hospitals in Kasaragod could issue such certificates.

“We are monitoring the situation carefully,” she said. Ms. Rupesh said designating KSHEMA on the city outskirts for Kasaragod patients was not to allow possible spread of COVID-19 in the city and to follow Mangaluru City Corporation’s restrictions issued under KMC Act on movement of patients with contagious diseases.

Patient not missing

A patients who arrived from Kasaragod to Mangaluru seeking treatment for headache has told the Kasaragod police that she had gone back to Kannur for treatment since she was not allowed to go to the hospital of her choice. She told the Kerala police that she was attended to by a “fatty doctor” (sic) at KSHEMA after a long wait and she had decided against availing treatment.

The Kasaragod police informed the Mangaluru city police that the patient had not gone “missing” after visiting KSHEMA as alleged, and she was now admitted at a medical college hospital in Kannur.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 8:20:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kasaragod-patients-insistence-on-choice-of-hospitals-puts-dk-officials-in-a-fix/article31319565.ece

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