The Yogi Adityanath government has finally succumbed to public pressure and has done away with the referral system for admission of Covid patients in hospitals.
The decision was taken late on Thursday evening by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Private Covid care hospitals across the state can now directly admit patients in 90 per cent of their beds, while government-aided hospitals and private medical colleges can follow the norm in 30 per cent of bed strength.
The mandatory registration at Integrated Covid Command Control Centres (ICCC) and a referral approval letter from respective Chief Medical officers (CMO) for hospitalisation in private units will no longer be required.
The decision was taken to cut the inordinate time taken in ICCC registrations and CMO referrals, said a government spokesperson.
Even if beds were available, private hospitals were not admitting patients without ICCC registration and CMO referral, triggering demands for scrapping the provision.
However, both government and private hospitals will have to keep the ICCC and district health and administrative officers updated every day with data on patients admitted and bed occupancy.
The move is expected to ease the admission procedure of critically ill patients, subject to availability of beds.
In the private hospital category, treatment cost would be according to rates fixed by the government, while rates would be subsidized at government-aided centres.
According to the order issued by additional chief secretary, health, Amit Mohan Prasad, private hospitals have to reserve 10 per cent beds in various categories – isolation, HDU and ICU – for admissions through ICCC.
Government hospitals, government medical institutes and private medical institutes taken over by the government as Covid facilities will reserve 70 per cent beds for admission through ICCC and rest as per emergency need.
This means the registration and referral system will continue in 10 per cent beds in private hospitals and 70 per cent beds in government-supported Covid care facilities.
In Lucknow, government-aided facilities include Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), Balrampur Hospital, Lok Bandhu Hospital, RSM Hospital, Era’s Lucknow Medical College, Integral Institute of Medical Sciences, TSM Medical College, Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences and Career Institute and Medical Sciences Hospital among others.
An admission slip from the district administration for admission to 70 per cent beds of these hospitals will be binding.
In a press statement, CMO Lucknow, Dr Sanjay Bhatnagar, said, “Till now, an approval letter from CMO was mandatory for admission to a Covid facility. It is no longer required for private hospitals. These hospitals can now take admissions based on bed availability and occupancy.”
The letter, however, will still be required for admission to government Covid centres, the CMO office clarified.
“Now, patients and their attendants can approach private covid hospitals on their own, as for any other disease. And if hospitals are ready to admit, they can go ahead without a referral letter,” said CMO spokesperson Yogesh Raghuvanshi.
The new government order also states that patients are free to use their own conveyance to travel to private hospitals, but if they seek an ambulance, the request has to be forwarded through ICCC.
The patient will require a letter from the private hospital granting admission, following which an ambulance will be provided.
A dedicated WhatsApp number will be provided on which the permission letter and ambulance request can be sent.
The steep rise in Covid cases in April has made Uttar Pradesh the second biggest contributor of new cases in the country after Maharashtra, according to data provided by Union ministry of health and family welfare.
As per the report, over 76 per cent of the new cases have been reported from 10 Indian states with Maharashtra leading the list followed by Uttar Pradesh. Delhi recorded the third highest number of fresh cases.