File image of union health minister Harsh Vardhan. Image credit: The Hindu
File image of Union health minister Harsh Vardhan.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said strict action will be taken against hospitals denying treatment to patients requiring immediate medical attention.

He also said that he has got complaints from patients suffering from critical ailments other than COVID-19 that they are being forced to visit a number of hospitals which often denies treating them.

The health minister instructed all the MSs of the hospitals to take proper care of non-COVID patients just like the COVID-19 patients.

“I am receiving a lot of complaints through calls, social media, twitter and print media, regarding denial of treatment to patients suffering from critical ailments other than COVID-19 such as patients requiring dialysis, suffering from respiratory or heart disease, those who require blood transfusion and pregnant mothers,” he said.

“We need to take a serious view against this denial of treatment to patients who have been visiting hospitals in case of emergency and are being forced to visit a number of hospitals, one after another resulting in denial of immediate medical attention which may result in loss of their lives,” he added.

Vardhan also said that it is a testing time for everyone and patients who are really ill and require urgent medical attention are venturing out with great difficulty to reach the hospital for treatment in this situation.

The hospitals should not turn serious patients away on any kind of flimsy pretexts as certain procedures like blood transfusion, dialysis etc can’t wait, the minister added.

He urged hospitals to respond to serious patients with compassion and care as they are already going through severe hardships during lockdown.

“We need pre-emptive, proactive, and effective measures to treat all the needy patients including those from vulnerable sections,” he said.

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