Dengue: Act against refusal, overcharging by hospitals, Centre asks Delhi Govt

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015,18:43 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Centre today asked Delhi Government to take strict action against hospitals refusing dengue patients and directed it to rein in private facilities overcharging them, even as another child succumbed to the disease due to alleged negligence of a hospital.
As the national capital battled the worst outbreak of dengue in the past five years with the total number of cases between January 1 and September 12 standing at 1,872, the Union Health Ministry has asked government hospitals to increase the number of beds in order to meet to the rush of patients.
I held a meeting with the Delhi Health Minister and asked him to take strict action against hospitals refusing dengue patients. They have been asked to submit a report on the actions taken. We have also assured that whatever support they need will be given, Health Minister J P Nadda said after chairing a high level meeting with officials of RML, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge hospitals.
The statement comes another boy died of dengue with his family claiming negligence by hospitals in the city where only last week seven-year-old Avinash had succumbed to the disease after allegedly being turned away by five hospitals which had driven his parents to suicide. The Union Health Ministry has also sought a report from Delhi Government on the incident in which the seven-year-old boy was allegedly turned away by five hospitals.
The Health Ministry noted that, in Delhi, the situation of cases detected and deaths reported due to dengue have gone on the higher side compared to last year. While the number of cases detected in Delhi last year was 995, the number this year ending second week of September was 1,872 and loss of life has been reported to be five as compared to three last year, an official statement said.
I have asked Delhi Government to see that private hospitals do not charge unwarrantedly and that they should take reasonable fees from the patients, Nadda said. At the national level, there has been decrease in number of dengue cases detected with 75,808 cases in 2013, 40,571 cases in 2014 and nearly 21,000 cases in 2015 up to second week of September, and the recovery has been in more than 99.99 per cent cases, the statement said.
Nadda also directed all central government hospitals not to deny treatment to patients suffering from fever or suspected dengue, and sought an increase in the bed strength to accommodate all patients. Nadda said he has been constantly and closely reviewing and monitoring the dengue situation in Delhi and other states, and holding high level meetings with various agencies and hospitals including AIIMS to review the situation.
In view of the recent upsurge in dengue cases, the Ministry has increased the number of beds in the central government hospitals while specific instructions have been conveyed to hospitals to accord priority to dengue cases and not to refuse any patient. Experts noted the fever caused due to dengue is generally tackled the way the other fevers are at home but in case of doubts or persisting fever, the patients must be brought to the hospital for appropriate medicare.
The central government hospitals are fully geared up to infuse platelets whenever there is a need, the official statement said. Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government was planning to bring a law under which private hospitals refusing admission to emergency patients could be penalised.