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Delhi government warned private hospitals to treat poor patients for free or face strict action

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On Thursday, Delhi government has warned private hospitals of strict action after receiving complaints that few private hospitals were denying free treatment to the economically weaker section (EWS) people. They are even asking these people to pay for coronavirus tests and personal protection equipment kits.

The directorate general of health services (DGHS) said that treatment to the EWS group of patients should not be refused even if the validity of their income certificate or undertaking forwarded by EWS Branch had expired. On Thursday, the DGHS issued an order stating that it had received lots of complaints against private hospitals, also including the ones which are designated for providing healthcare to COVID-19 positive patients. They were not following the guidelines regarding provision of free treatment to the poor people.

The DGHS also said that if an eligible EWS category patient was denied any indoor treatment by the hospital authorities even though the treating doctor had advised for admission and the hospital has vacant bed, then strict action would be taken against them.

The order issued read as “...some known private hospitals are convincing EWS patients to pay for either COVID-19 test or PPE kit or both which is in violation of the directions issued by the apex court. Also, it has also been observed that few identified private hospitals have been declared as designated COVID-19 hospital and they are not providing free treatment to COVID-19 positive or suspected patients of eligible category in the quantum as prescribed by the high court.

The DGHS instructed the designated private hospitals to make sure that the patients didn’t have to pay any expenses, while mentioning complaints from EWS patients.

Source: ET Healthworld

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