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Kejriwal seeks scapegoats in Delhi’s private hospitals

Kejriwal seeks scapegoats in Delhi’s private hospitals

As coronavirus cases in India surge, cracks in the healthcare system are staring to appear. A first information report (FIR) has been filed against Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) for allegedly not adhering to Covid-19 regulation norms.

The FIR was been filed on Saturday by a senior Delhi Health Department official. Amid rising panic and confusion over availability of testing facility, treatment and hospitalization, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that “some” private hospitals were indulging in black marketeering by lying about not having vacant beds for Covid-19 patients.

India, on Sunday reported over 10,000 cases in a day—the highest single day hike—as the country gears up to open up economic activities, with Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad being the worst impacted.

As India lifts the lockdown, it needs to reassure its citizens that it is prepared to deal with the spread of the disease. While Kejriwal has been reassuring the residents of Delhi that his government was well equipped to face the pandemic challenge, complaints from several patients in the capital over non-availability of testing or hospitalization facilities are turning to be a big blotch on the state’s preparedness with the healthcare infrastructure.

In the SGRH case, the complainant alleged that even as the government made it mandatory for registering coronavirus tests on an official software programme, the hospital authorities were not following the norms.

Hospitals have been asked to update Covid-19 test details on the RT PCR application developed by the Centre but the SGRH has allegedly not adhered to the guidelines. The application facilitates dissemination of data on a real-time basis in the government database to ensure that there is no duplication or error

“After over two months of this virus, there is little excuse for Kejriwal to offer for this confusion. The number of coronavirus cases is set to surge but at this critical juncture if people feel unsure of the medical facilities, it is shameful,” a policymaker, who refused to be identified told IN.

With Kejriwal alleging that many private hospitals have started indulging in unfair practices, paranoia among the people living in Delhi is rising. Many have complained that the recently set helplines often do not work and there is no grievance cell. The loose ends need to be tied up immediately and accountability needs to be fixed.

Enough time has been wasted; there is no point in making private hospitals scapegoats..