New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said that his government is planning to bring a law under which private hospitals refusing admission to emergency patients could be penalised.
"We are planning to come out with a law so that hospitals refusing treatment to an emergency patient can be penalised. In the next couple of days, we will call a special session of the Legislative Assembly to bring in the law," Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister conducted surprise checks at several hospitals including Guru Teg Bahadur hospital and Dr Hedgewar Aarogya Sansthan in Karkardooma.
Kejriwal's visit comes in the backdrop of another boy succumbing to dengue and his family alleging negligence by hospitals in the city. On September 8, 7-year-old Avinash Rout had died due to the vector-borne disease after allegedly being turned away by five hospitals which had driven his parents to suicide.
"Hospitals which refuse treatment will not be spared," Kejriwal said.
He also said that government was exploring the idea of taking over private hospitals for a temporary period during an exigency.
Meanwhile, Delhi government has summoned administrators of all private hospitals and nursing homes in the city. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain will hold the meeting with them this evening.
In the meeting, administrators of nursing homes and private hospitals will be given strict orders to not refuse admission to any suspected dengue patient.
Kejriwal yesterday held a meeting with top officials of Health Department and Rogi Kalyan Samitis which look after work of Delhi Government-run hospitals and issued directions to "do everything possible" to control the situation.
Government has also launched a round-the-clock helpline - 011-23307145 - to help dengue patients. Also, it has directed its hospitals to cancel leave of all doctors, nurses and para-medics in view of sudden spread of the disease.
The Chief Minister also asked the MLAs to visit hospitals in their constituencies twice every day and ensure that proper treatment is offered to patients.
Jain who accompanied Kejriwal during the visits urged people to get themselves tested at government centres.
"There are fifty centres where tests are being conducted for free with the facility of getting reports on the same day," Jain said.
As per hospital records, the dengue death toll in the city has risen to ten. However, the death toll as per the municipal corporation's official data still stands at 5.
As per the corporation's data released yesterday, 613 cases of dengue have been reported in the last one week and a total 1,872 patients have tested positive for the vector borne disease till September 12.