COVID fight: govt ropes in private hospitals with ICUs

Panaji: The state government on Monday decided to make it mandatory for private hospitals to reserve 20 per cent of beds in their ICUs exclusively for COVID patients.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced the decision after chairing a meeting with Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, Chief Secretary Parimal Rai and health secretary Nila Mohanan to review and scale up handling of the COVID crisis.

Mohanan told a press conference in Panaji that collectorate offices of both the districts will have a mechanism to monitor the functioning of the private hospitals as regards as COVID treatment.

“If we see that there is lack of compliance by the private hospitals then we will be forced to take necessary action under   the provisions of the Epidemic Regulation Act. The measures   may include suspension or cancellation of their licences,” she said.

Mohanan said the private hospitals will have to follow the protocols issued by the central and state governments, which   have already been circulated to them in the recent past. These include the guidelines issued for the control of infection in hospital premises.

The private hospitals will have to share with the health services directorate details of the fees that will be charged from the patients for the treatment and associated services and facilities.

“The details will give us an opportunity to see and monitor the rates,” Mohanan said, adding that no capping has been set by the government on the rates to be charged from COVID patients. 

The COVID treatment at private hospitals will be covered under the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana health insurance scheme as per the ‘terms and conditions’ of the scheme.