New Delhi: The Modi government has warned all hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) against denying treatment to beneficiaries during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hospitals should also charge patients according to the norms listed or face action, CGHS director Dr Sanjay Jain told healthcare organisations in an order dated 9 June.
In another order issued the next day, the director also said that all wellness centres run by the CGHS must start “fever clinics”, that is, clinics one can access when they have a fever, which is a key Covid-19 symptom.
These clinics, the CGHS said, should be accessible to the over 35 lakh beneficiaries entitled to cashless treatment all over India under the scheme.
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In the 9 June “advisory”, accessed by ThePrint, the CGHS director has cited complaints received by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about difficulties beneficiaries have faced in getting admission and treatment under the scheme, for Covid-19 and other illnesses.
“This ministry is in receipt of representations from CGHS beneficiaries of the difficulties in availing treatment facilities at private hospitals and diagnostic centres empanelled under CGHS,” the order added.
Any such complaints, the order said, will be reviewed, and “suitable action shall be taken in case of violation of the guidelines”.
The order, titled “Advisory issued to healthcare organisations (HCO) empanelled under CGHS in view of the prevalent coronavirus pandemic”, said “that all CGHS empanelled hospitals… notified as Covid hospitals by the state government shall provide treatment facilities to beneficiaries as per the norm, for all Covid related treatments”.
The CGHS hospitals that have not been notified as Covid hospitals shall not deny treatment facilities or admission to beneficiaries “for all other treatments”, Jain added. Patients, the order stated, will be charged in keeping with CGHS norms.
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Guidelines on CGHS-run wellness centres
The second order, issued by Jain on 10 June and accessed by ThePrint, stated that all the wellness centres run by the CGHS will start fever clinics where one medical officer will be designated specifically on a 14-day rotation.
“He or she will not examine any other patients and will be provided all protective gear such as masks, face shield, gloves and hydroxychloroquine tablet (HCQ) as per the rules,” the order said.
It also added that every CGHS beneficiary and staff member entering these centres will be screened for temperature. If found to have a raised temperature, the beneficiary or staffer will be referred to the fever clinic for a possible RT-PCR test to confirm Covid-19.
It also directed healthcare workers to use “pulse oximeters”, which measure your pulse and check the amount of oxygen in your body, as a routine tool for the initial assessment of patients coming to CGHS OPDs, with or without fever.
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