Private hospitals charging COVID patients
The whole issue of COVID patients being charged by private hospitals is making headlines for Udaipur, after similar incidents were heard from other cities as well.
Initially, private hospitals in Udaipur, viz. GMCH, GBH, Pacific, etc were taken under the umbrella of COVID treatment providers in Udaipur, when the number of cases had gone up and the government infrastructure was not in place to manage this situation. At that point, the private hospitals were NOT charging COVID patients who were referred to the private hospitals. Treatment was being done in an inclusive manner, with the government doctors teaming up with the doctors at the private hospital along with the health care workers.
The District Collectors order in the month of May as well as in August (both heavy COVID cases months), clarified that COVID patients with mild or no symptoms need not be referred to hospital care and can be home quarantined, provided a few regulations are adhered to.
Private hospitals discharge COVID patients without any check
Further to the instructions in August, the private hospitals discharged all COVID patients with mild or no symptoms immediately. All patients were asked to go home. Local patients in Pacific Hospital, Udaipur were asked to arrange their own transport and go home as the hospital could not arrange for ambulances. Patients from upcountry areas such as Salumber, Kherwara, Gogunda, etc had to hurriedly arrange for paid ambulances as they were asked to leave immediately.
Patients were made to sign a declaration that they will observe home quarantine regulations. No one is monitoring the health of the COVID patients who have been discharged since last week. Nearly 35 patients were discharged from GBH American Hospital and 60 patients from Pacific Hospital, as per sources.
When the patients enquired on their review sample tests, they were told that the hospital will no longer do the sampling. It has been left to the patients to get their tests done either paid at private hospitals or free at government centers. No clarification has been given on the duration after which the tests need to be administered. Patients who are under home quarantine are still unsure on how to proceed.
Doctors who were monitoring the patients at the private hospital say that patients who were discharged after 10 days of admission, need to be under home quarantine for a period of one week and those who have been discharged within less than 10 days of being admitted, will need to stay under home quarantine for period of 14 days. During home quarantine, if the patient needs calrification or medical help, he / she will need to call the state helpline.
UT is still seeking clarification on the procedure from the health department cell at MB Hospital, as patients are not sure of how to proceed.