Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan appealed to the private hospitals not to commercialise the COVID pandemic situation to make profits.
During an online video interaction with hospital management, the Governor asked them to create isolation wards for the COVID patients and display beds availability at the reception, and charge nominally for beds besides asked them to offer a COVID special treatment packages. “It would be ideal to provide counselling to the patients before admission itself so that misunderstanding can be avoided at later stages”, said the Governor.
She also requested them to treat the Corona patients at nominal charges particularly the middle class. “I am not asking you as the First Citizen of Telangana but as one among the common citizens of Telangana”, quipped.
She appreciated the private hospitals for participating and expressing their valid views with the short notice. Some of the views explained by private doctors are as follows:
(1) The COVID test takes only six hours for the procedure. But it takes 12 to 24 hours even 48 hours to get the results. This undue delay makes it difficult to decide the admission, treatment and creates all confusion on decision making.
(2) The availability of beds can be announced by the government by making a general pool information system. So that patient is not put into trouble in finding the beds.
(3) Non-availability of beds is not only non-availability of infrastructure but also non-availability of staff. A supportive system should be there like adequate insurance to the medical fraternity.
(4) Most of the hospital beds are occupied by people with mild symptoms who can be home quarantined. Because they are not having isolation facilities in their homes, they occupy the beds which could be occupied by serious patients. Hence the government should organise good comfortable quarantine centres for such patients with mild symptoms.
(5) Medicines like Remvesivir are expensive. Hence, the government should come up with a scheme to get these medicines at a concessional rate. Most of the bills are highly charged because of the high cost of medicine which is not included in the packages.
(6) Pulmonologists (Chest Specialists) attended the virtual meeting highlighted an alarming situation that there is a likelihood of an increase in the number of cases drastically in the coming months. Hence, multi-bedded hospitals with thousands of beds should be made ready by the government to prevent last-minute confusion, if it happens.
(7) There should be clear public-private government participation. The government should include the private health facilities in combating the challenge, so that government and private sector together can face the challenge successfully.
(8) The government can come up with “Plasma Bank”, as plasma therapy is successful in some critical cases.
(9) Patients approach hospitals with an unnecessary panic mindset. Eight out of Ten are mild cases. Hence, the government should come out with a good awareness programme to highlight the situation.
(10) The government should strengthen the home care system with monitoring the supply of pulse oximeter, thermometer. They can be monitored by surveillance centre manned by doctors 24X7. This will reduce the burden on hospitals.
(11) With Rapid Antigen Test, the result can be known in half-an-hour. Therefore, it should be immediately organised by the government, as some states have started the Antigen testing.
(12) The government should take concrete steps to flatten the curve by increasing the number of tests and tracing on a war footing, as this could be a major solution.
(13) Governor appealed to appoint admission counsellors and social workers to facilitate beds in the sister concern hospitals.
(14) A transparent system explaining the cost of treatment to the patients is to be carried out.
(15) Finally, the Governor appealed the private hospitals to give the best quality treatment at a low cost for the common public.
Representatives from CARE, Apollo, Yashoda, Continental, Gleneageals, KIMS, Malla Reddy, Global, Sunshine and Basavatarakam memorial hospitals were among others who took part in the meeting.