India

Ensure functioning of non-Covid health services, states told

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, here on Tuesday, asked states and Union Territories to ensure that all non-Covid health facilities remained functional and people were not denied essential critical services.

Preeti Sudan, Health and Family Welfare Secretary, in a letter to states and UTs, shed light on how private hospitals were hesitant in providing critical services, like dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries, due to fear of coronavirus infection and were also keeping their clinics closed.

“It's important that the non-COVID essential services are also provided to those who need them. I request you to please ensure that all the health facilities, especially those in the private sector, both clinics and hospitals, do remain functional and that anyone needing any essential critical services, is not denied such services,” Sudan wrote.

“For patients who need these critical services, it needs to be ensured that all the health facilities, especially those in the private sector, continue to be functional and provide such services so that such patients don't face any hardships,” she said.

The Health Ministry asked states and UTs to follow the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry on functioning of services and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on personal safety and testing.

Detail advisory on the use of hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis for SARS COV-2 infection have been issued and sufficient availability of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) ensured.

The Ministry said helplines, set up by states and UTs, should receive grievances regarding denial of critical services, especially on account of insistence on testing. “The helpline staff should be trained to respond to queries pertaining to critical services, quick resolution of grievances may also be ensured,” it said

–IANS

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