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Monday, December 5, 2022

No Hospital Can Refuse To Admit Patients If There Is No ID Card, Positive Report: Supreme Court

Any hospital treating Covid patients cannot deny admission to a patient for the reason that they don’t have an ID proof along with a positive Covid test report.

Such has been directed by the Supreme Court to all hospitals along with both centre and state govts.

Three-tier Health Infra Recommended
The Centre submitted an affidavit to the SC saying that all states have been directed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to set up a three-tier health infrastructure for tackling Covid cases.

According to the three-tier structure, COVID Care Centre (CCC) will be set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums and lodges to treat mild cases.

If all else fails, Community Health Centres (CHCs) which can double as hospitals can be converted to CCCs.

Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) will cater to moderate and severe cases, equipped with oxygen supported beds.

It will also be supported by staff providing comprehensive care for the severely affected.

Within these hospitals there should be another hospital or a dedicated block with its own entry/exit/zoning.

No Excuses For Denying Admission
No govt or private hospital will be allowed to turn away Covid patients for lack of proof of positivity in cases where hospitalisation is necessary.

Any suspected case should be provided admission in a CCC, DCHC or DHC.

Hospitals cannot refuse admission to patients on other grounds such as the person belonging to a different city and not being able to furnish a valid ID card belonging to the particular city of the hospital.

However, admission will be granted to those who do actually need it, instead of giving away beds to those who don’t require hospitalisation.

Tackling Understaffing
This mandate will be in effect until an “appropriate uniform policy” is formulated, according to the bench.

The Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary Health/Medical education of all States and UTs have also been asked to arrange “extraordinary measures” to provide medical staff.

There has been a shortage in the trained human resources front as well and in consultation with the National Medical Commission and the Indian Nursing Council, incentives have been suggested to augment the same.

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