NEW DELHI: Amid concerns over many private hospitals across India either turning away critical patients or having closed down, the Centre on Tuesday asked states to ensure the hospitals kept functioning and also did not insist on Covid-19 tests for every patient needing medical care.
In a letter to state chief secretaries, Union health secretary Preeti Sudan said the Centre had received reports that many private hospitals were hesitating to provide critical services such as dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries even to their regular patients either due to fear of the staff contracting Covid-19 or because they were not functioning.
“For patients who need these critical services, it must be ensured all health facilities, especially those in private sector, continue to be functional… so that such patients do not face any hardship,” Sudan said.
On hospitals insisting on Covid-19 tests before providing services, she said, “Healthcare providers may be advised to take necessary precautions for personal protection.”
Sudan’s letter referred to guidelines issued to states on April 20 which said there shouldn’t be disruption in essential services such as reproductive and child healthcare, immunisation, treatment of cancer and kidney ailments.