A(H1N1): private hospitals fear negative publicity

Staff Reporter

Directorate does not give details of deaths

Bangalore: The Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, which usually publicises the details of A(H1N1) victims and the hospitals where the deaths occur, has stopped doing so from Tuesday.

In fact, Tuesday’s press release sent to the media on the status of A(H1N1) pandemic in the State did not have the names of the latest victim and the hospital where the death occurred. Although two more persons died on Tuesday — a 31-year-old techie and a 38-year-old male — the health officials did not confirm the death of the software professional, who succumbed to the viral flu at Lakeside Hospital. With this, the death toll in Karnataka has touched 29.

State Joint Director (Communicable Diseases) T.S. Cheluvaraju told The Hindu: “We have received objections from a few hospitals. Their contention is that although they are doing their best to save a patient, they are in the bad books of people because the patient dies there. So we have stopped the practice of revealing the names of hospitals where a A(H1N1) death is reported.”

He said even the Union Health Ministry publicised only the sex and age of A(H1N1) victims. But president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) H. Paramesh, who is also Medical Director of Lakeside Hospital, said none of the hospitals had brought this to his notice. “There is no harm in revealing the names of the hospitals where A(H1N1) deaths are reported. We had our executive committee meeting last Thursday. But nobody raised this issue,” Dr. Paramesh said.

It may be recalled that initially when the State Government tried to involve private hospitals in tackling the outbreak, only two hospitals had come forward. The hospitals agreed to screen and treat A(H1N1) patients only after a lot of persuasion from the Government.

More test positive

Meanwhile, 22 more persons tested positive for the flu on Tuesday taking the total number of confirmed cases in the State to 485. These include 14 from Bangalore, six from Belgaum and two from Mysore.

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