Uttar Pradesh Government’s directive on ‘separate block’ for COVID patients in private hospitals causing problems to patients

Some of most advanced private tertiary care hospitals of the state are unable to provide treatment to Covid patients because of the directive

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge problems, not only to the patients, but to huge number of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff working round the clock to cater to the ever increasing flow of patients. The constant fear of the disease, followed by endless processes and protocols are causing many problems to the people.

However, patients from Uttar Pradesh are facing yet another hurdle in receiving quality treatment within the state because of a UP State Govt’s directive to hospitals on the treatment of Covid patients. The directive mentions that a hospital either has to dedicate the entire facility or create a separate block for Covid patients. This directive has restricted private participation in the treatment of rapidly spiralling Covid cases in the state. The private hospitals in the state have been advised to either dedicate the entire facility to the Covid-19 patients or create a separate block for the same.

While it is seemingly impossible for larger hospitals to dedicate the entire facility to Covid-19 treatment, as patients with other diseases requiring regular and timely treatment, will be left with nowhere to go, it is also not possible to create a new or separate block altogether.

Medanta Lucknow Hospital has created 20 beds in its project office when hospital has 400 beds, because of this state government rule of separate buildings. The ministers and bureaucrats of UP Govt have travelled for treatment of Covid to Medanta in Gurugram. It is difficult to understand when Medanta in Lucknow can have a floor or two dedicated for covid-19, why the same doesn’t apply to leading healthcare providers like Apollo Medics in Lucknow and Nayati Medicity in Mathura.

The other surprising factor is, within the state, districts have deciphered this policy differently. It is also important to note that in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad hospitals like Jaypee Hospital, Kailash Hospital and Max Hospital have dedicated floors with separate facilities for Covid treatment in the same building without any objection from the government authorities.

Most advanced hospitals in other parts of Uttar Pradesh are forced to turn away critical Covid patients, because of lack of permissions to treat them, while maintaining treatment of their regular chronic non-Covid patients. The lack of uniform rules throughout the state is increasing the number of patient movement to the capital city. The overcrowding of the Covid-19 patients in Delhi and Gurugram is adding to the panic and further proliferation of the disease.

Hospitals in the metros have managed the co- existence of Covid and non-Covid treatment seamlessly in the same hospital by ensuring complete separation of the two. These include separate entry and exit, separate teams for Covid and non-Covid wards, separate air handling unit (AHU) and bio medical waste disposal facilities.

The need of the hour is to review the policies, consider the directives introduced in other states and gear up for the challenges ahead with the number of positive cases rising every day.


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