New Delhi: As the national capital battled the worst outbreak of dengue in the past five years, Delhi Government tonight directed all private hospitals and nursing homes to increase the number of beds, and warned them of strict action if they denied treatment to any dengue patient.
In a meeting with over 1,000 representatives of private hospitals and nursing homes here this evening, Health Minister Satyendar Jain also directed them not to sell any medicine which might affect the platelet count.
The minister told the private health facilities that is they increase the bed strength, the government is ready to relax rules about the ratio of beds in a particular area till November 15.
Following reports of alleged refusal by private hospitals to admit dengue patients, Jain called the meeting with administrators of all private hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
The dengue menace continued to rattle Delhi with a six-year-old boy and a woman succumbing to the vector-borne disease, raising the toll to 11 today even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government was mulling bringing a law to enable temporary takeover of private hospitals during emergencies.
As hospitals across Delhi continued to be inundated with dengue patients, the Delhi Cabinet held an emergency meeting which reviewed the deteriorating situation. It also explored various options to ensure that private hospitals do not refuse to admit dengue patients.
"We are planning to come out with a law so that hospitals refusing treatment to an emergency patient can be penalized," said Kejriwal.
The Cabinet decided that various options to penalize private hospitals will be finalized very soon.
It also discussed the possibility of convening a special session of the Delhi assembly to implement the option which the government will finalise to deal with negligence of private hospitals, the Chief Minister's Office said.
"To bring a new law, government may call a Special Session so that patients don't have to face problems during medical crises caused by dengue and other diseases. A final decision will be taken within two or three days," an official said.
The Delhi government will also soon launch an SMS awareness campaign for dengue, the official said.
The Chief Minister's Office said the cabinet stressed the need for ensuring accountability of private hospitals and felt the need to introduce an effective system of patient care.
"The cabinet reviewed the preparation to deal with the dengue situation in the national capital and decided to intensify the awareness campaign to prevent any panic which is leading to unnecessary rush in hospitals across Delhi," it said.
Separately, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain summoned administrators of all private hospitals and nursing homes in the city and asked them to ensure treatment to all dengue patients.
The Union Health Ministry also asked Delhi government to take strict action against hospitals refusing dengue patients and directed it to rein in private facilities overcharging them.
As the opposition parties stepped up pressure on the Delhi government over the dengue outbreak, Delhi government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of Avinash Rout.
The Chief Minister appealed to people to donate blood so that adequate quantity of platelets could be made available.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia conducted surprise inspection of various schools along with Environment Minister Asim Ahmed Khan to see whether authorities are taking precaution to curb breeding of dengue causing mosquito.
"Parents should send their children to schools only in clothes of full sleeves and the government will ensure that the uniform colour does not create any problem to the children," said Sisodia.
He also directed health authorities to issue challans to schools where mosquito breeding or water-logged areas were found.
Mishra further said that out of 450 tests conducted for suspected dengue, 60 persons have confirmed positive to the virus.
In addition to the new cases, 50 patients from Delhi, 25 from Noida, 5 from Hapur and 15 patients of Bulandshahr are being treated for dengue at various hospitals in Ghaziabad, he said