The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday revised its order enabling admission of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals with referral of the Integrated COVID Command Center (ICCC) after facing criticism from several quarters.
According to the rules, only the patients referred by ICCC are admitted in private hospitals, leading to huge rush at the centre for referral letters, drawing criticism on social media and by opposition Congress.
In a directive sent to all divisional commissioners, district magistrates and all chief medical officers, Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said now COVID patients can be admitted in private hospitals on the basis of their test reports.
After admission by private hospitals, they will have to report about the cases immediately on the portal of the state government, the order said, adding that these hospitals will have to reserve only 10 per cent beds on which patients referred by ICCC will be admitted.
According to the arrangement so far, cases of infection are received in the ICCC from where doctors interact with the patients and it is decided which patients need to be admitted to the COVID hospitals and who are to be sent on home isolation.
"Due to the high cases of infection, this system is not being implemented in a very effective way, due to which it has been decided to change the system. However, the process of admission of COVID-19 infected patients in government hospitals, state medical colleges and private medical colleges will be done through the command center itself, the order said.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanded the abolition of the need for referral letters for infected patients from ICCC located in the Chief Medical Officer's Office.
According to the new system, no referral letter will be needed for patients who are eligible for hospitalisation, if they wish to be admitted to a private COVID hospital.
Several people had on social media criticised the government over the practice of referral letters of admission.