Treating COVID patients under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka Scheme
Coronavirus Update, COVID-19, News

Treating COVID patients under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka Scheme

August 13, 2020

MLA urges DC to minimise inconvenience to patients

  • Tanveer Sait appeals DC Abhiram Sankar to give powers to Zonal Health Officers at PHCs to sign recommendation letters
  • DHO complains about private hospitals forcing patients to sign bonds

Mysore/Mysuru: COVID-19 infected patients who want to avail treatment in private hospitals under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka Scheme have to obtain signatures from Government doctors. Patients face a lot of difficulties as they have to go in search of a Government doctor at the COVID Hospital. 

This particular rule is becoming difficult for COVID patients to obtain treatment in private hospitals under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka scheme, opined Narasimharaja MLA Tanveer Sait. He was addressing the meeting of Narasimharaja Constituency COVID Task Force at Zilla Panchayat Hall yesterday along with Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar, Mysuru City Corporation Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde and Health Department officials. 

Explaining his point, the MLA said that as the number of virus infections is seeing a spike, there is a need for concerted efforts. “Regarding the signature of Government doctor for patients to avail treatment in private hospital under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka scheme, Zonal Health Officers serving at Primary Health Centres (PHCs)must be authorised to sign the recommendation form so that patients can obtain treatment at private hospital of their choice. In the present system, only COVID Hospital doctors are authorised to sign such recommendation applications,” he said. 

In Narasimharaja Constituency, almost all people have enrolled in Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka scheme and if the Zonal Health Officers serving at PHCs are given powers to sign the recommendation letters, it will prevent inconvenience suffered by the residents. “If many patients get treated in private hospitals, the pressure on COVID Hospitals will ease,” Tanveer Sait opined. 

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Responding to the MLA, DC Abhiram Sankar said that if there was a provision of authorising Zonal Health Officers serving at PHCs to sign recommendations in case the patients want to avail treatment at private hospitals, it would be immediately done. 

 “If there is no such provision, a letter will be written to the State Government and special permission will be obtained as this is an emergency situation,” Abhiram Sankar assured. 

Taking bond from patients

About taking a written undertaking, called bond, from patients the District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. R. Venkatesh said that many private hospitals, before giving treatment for COVID patients under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka scheme, are making the relatives of patients to sign a bond that says that if the Government does not reimburse the expenditure under the scheme, the patients would foot the hospital bills. The DHO Office has received many complaints in this regard, he told the meeting. 

Taking serious objection to this, MLA Tanveer Sait asked the DC to call a meeting of private hospital managements to discuss the issue so that patients are not put into hardship. 

Before conducting Rapid Antigen Tests in any locality, officers must draw up a 15-day strategy and more and more tests must be conducted in those areas where there are high instances of virus infections. 

“Rapid Testing is the only way to prevent a community spread. Those health officers who have crossed the age of 50 can convey to their higher officers that they are not in a position to work amidst COVID patients. Such information is necessary as the responsibility can be passed on to other officers so that there is no disruption in the work,”  Tanveer Sait said. 

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The MLA suggested that following rising infections, more and more beds are required. 

“ The District Administration can take over the beds lying in various Social Welfare Department Hostels, Backward Classes Welfare Department and Minority Welfare Department Hostels. After procuring the beds, COVID Care Centres can be established at Sathagalli KSRTC Depot and Naidunagar Bus Stand in Narasimharaja Constituency,” the MLA suggested. 

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