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Coronavirus | Bengal govt. directs private hospitals not to refuse admission to patients

A health worker carries medical waste for disposal at Calcutta Medical College Hospital. File

A health worker carries medical waste for disposal at Calcutta Medical College Hospital. File  

The West Bengal government on Thursday said that private health facilities in the State should not refuse admission to COVID-19 patients and make public the number of vacant beds in their institution.

State Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha held a meeting with officials of private hospitals and said that in the fight against the pandemic there was nothing called private or public and everyone should work towards serving the people. “We are hearing certain complaints from the people about private facilities. There are about 1,000 beds in private hospitals in Kolkata of which 50 % beds are vacant,” Mr. Sinha said.

‘Safe house facilities’

The Chief Secretary said that the occupancy rate of beds in the State government hospitals stood at around 20% to 22 % which would drop further when the ‘safe house’ facilities for asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms begin functioning.

In a notification during the day, the government said that a ‘satellite health facility’ would be designated as an ‘observation ward’ to the attached hospital. The Chief Secretary said that all the State government institutions and private hospitals would make public information about beds by Friday. Mr. Sinha also raised the issue of overcharging by private hospitals and urged them to reduce the cost of treatment.

“If there are seven doctors seeing a patient, the cost of seven PPE should not be charged from every patient,” he said.

Meanwhile, in another notification the State Health Department said that the medical colleges designated as tertiary COVID-19 care centres would admit patients who tested positive for the disease as well as other ailments in different disciplines.

435 new cases, 12 deaths

The State recorded 435 new cases of infections and 12 deaths in the past 24 hours. Eight deaths were reported from Kolkata alone. The number of people discharged from the State-run hospitals is 468. The discharge rate has improved to 54.97 %.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 6:25:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-bengal-govt-directs-private-hospitals-not-to-refuse-admission-to-patients/article31866973.ece

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