Stern action ordered against hospitals fleecing COVID patients

Amaravati, April 8:

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said that vaccination is the solution to prevent the spread of COVID and directed the officials to ensure that the supply of vaccine meets the needs of the State to carry out the vaccination drive vigorously with a target of providing four lakh doses in rural areas and two lakh doses in urban areas , every day.
During a review meeting on Covid Vaccination-control measures, Nadu-Nedu in the Health Department, the Chief Minister said that all those who were aged above 45 years had to be vaccinated in the next 30 days and directed the authorities to take up the vaccination drives in rural areas too. The officials informed that only one lakh doses are available for today and the state has only enough stocks for two days and there are about one crore people aged above 45 years who still need to be vaccinated. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to talk to the central government and ensure that the required doses are made available in the State and administer smooth conduct of vaccination drive. Also, he told officials to conduct an awareness programme through Asha workers, volunteers to see that every eligible person in the house gets vaccinated.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy emphasised on creating awareness among the public on the spread of Covid pandemic. He said that the State economy will be completely damaged if the lockdown conditions were put and stated that the pandemic caused a financial loss of Rs 21,000 crore to the state last year.

Reviewing COVID control measures, the Chief Minister directed the officials to take stern action on private hospitals that were fleecing public in the name of COVID treatment and told to implement price fixation for the treatment and have a strict supervision over the private hospitals. He told the officials to focus on a three- pronged strategy of tracing, testing and treatment to contain the spread of COVID 19 and take action on those not wearing masks. He reiterated that any infected person calling 104 for assistance should be provided with necessary information, bed status and assist with medical help at the earliest. He said that sanitation, doctors, paramedics, oxygen as well as medicines should be made available along with infrastructure facilities in every hospital.
The officials explained that 66 COVID hospitals and 22 COVID-care centres were set up across the State and offering medical services like in previous year. Besides these, over four lakh home isolation medicine kits are made available. The Chief Minister said that giving weightage in recruitments to those who worked during covid would be an encouraging gesture.

Reviewing progress in the establishment of 16 new medical colleges, the Chief Minister directed the officials to speed up the land acquisition process and start the works by July 1. The officials explained that land acquisition has been completed for eight colleges and the remaining are in process. He said that every medical institution right from Village Clinics to PHC, CHC, Area Hospitals, District Hospitals and Teaching Hospitals should be in national standard and directed the authorities to prepare SOPs in this regard. He said that there should be no shortage of doctors and staff in any hospital across the State.
Also, the Chief Minister said that there should be no delay in the release of the Hospital Development Funds, where a policy should be framed for better execution. The officials explained that leaving the management of the hospitals to the medical superintendents is causing difficulties and suggested hiring hospital managers to oversee all aspects of hospital management except clinical decisions. Officials said that such policy is already being implemented in several states with good results. In this context, the Chief Minister suggested setting up a specialized course in medical colleges related to hospital management by partnering with leading private hospitals.

About the YSR Health Clinics, the Chief Minister said that the clinics should be painted in good vibrant colors like in schools to make them feel pleasant and impressive. He ordered the authorities to release required funds for YSR Health Clinics immediately. He said that doctors in PHC’s and 104 MMU’s should visit rural areas and offer medical services in the nearby villages on a regular basis and instructed the officials to prepare an action plan in this regard. He further directed the authorities to look into the steps to be taken to implement the Family Doctor Concept in State.
Deputy Chief Minister (Medical and Health) Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Nani), Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, Medical and Health Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, Finance Secretary Gulzar, Medical Health and Family Welfare Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar, Andhra Pradesh Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) Chairman Dr. B. Chandrasekhar Reddy, APMSIDC VC and MD Vijayarama Raju, Arogyasri CEO Dr. Mallikharjuna and other senior officials were present in the review meeting.

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