No private hospital in Karnataka can turn away a patient without attending to him or her, irrespective of the Coronavirus status, an official has said.
"Private medical establishments shall not deny treatment and admission to any patient approaching the establishment irrespective of the fact that such patient may or may not be suffering from Covid-19," an official from the state Health and Family Welfare Department said on Wednesday.
Likewise, no private hospital can insist on a patient for a Covid-19 test report, said the official invoking the Disaster Management Act.
Private hospitals to strictly abide
"The establishments also cannot insist for Covid test report," he said, directing all private hospitals to strictly abide by their responsibilities. According to the department, it is the duty of every private hospital to provide first aid and take lifesaving steps when any patient approaches it.
"It is the duty of every private medical establishment to provide first aid and take lifesaving measures to stabilise the patient," he said. The department also invoked statutes from Karnataka Medical Establishments Act 2017, under sections 11 and 11 (A) to drive home the message.
The directives assume significance at a time when several cases of private hospitals denying admissions and fleecing patients across the state have emerged.
"It has been noticed that some of the private hospitals are refusing treatment and admission to emergency patients, causing distress and this has resulted in complications, leading to death in certain cases," said the official.
The district authorities have been directed to take action on the erring hospitals as the department reiterated the responsibilities of private medical establishments.