Govt diktat to private hospitals: Reserve 20% ICU beds for COVID patients

Panjim: Following a shortage of beds in the COVID-19 hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, the State government has decided to reserve 20 per cent of ICU beds in private hospitals for COVID treatment. Private hospitals with functional ICUs failing to comply may face action, including suspension of licence.

Health Secretary Nila Mohanan, addressing the media, further said that private hospitals will also have to share details of their charges for treatment.

“It has been decided by the government of Goa that all private hospitals which have ICU functional units should be mandatorily keeping 20 per cent of ICU beds aside for COVID positive patients,” she said.

Further, she said that if there is lack of compliance by any private hospital, the authorities will be forced to take necessary measures. “The action may include the suspension and cancellation of their licences by invoking provisions of the Epidemic Regulations Act,” Mohanan said.

She added that hospitals are expected to maintain protocols which have been circulated several times in the past for hospital infection control and on how to manage the situation, when a COVID dedicated space is earmarked in a hospital.

“We urge them to note the same and the two District Collectors will have their own monitoring mechanism to ensure that there is compliance with these decisions of the government of Goa,” she said.

Regarding the charges, she added, it has been decided that charges for treatment at private hospitals for the room or other facility will have to be shared with the DHS. “That will help us to see and monitor the rates. There is no cap so far on the rates,” she said.

She added that the treatment for COVID in private hospitals will be covered under DDSSY health insurance scheme.

The Health Secretary also expressed concern over the rising number of COVID patients in Tulip Diagnostics in Verna.

She said that the overall 80 cases (54 Monday) have been reported so far and it is cause of grave concern. “Still 67 are yet to be tested,” she said, urging other workplaces and industries in Goa to adhere to the guidelines issued by MHA.

Health director Dr Jose D’Sa said that Goa recorded three more deaths on Monday. A 57-year-old from Mangor and another 60-year-old patient from Vasco died due to COVID. The third patient, also from Vasco, was brought dead to the hospital.

D’Sa said that Dr Edwin Gomes, who headed the COVID hospital earlier, has tested positive and has been admitted at the COVID Care Centre at Margao Residency.

He further said that there were 130 positive cases on Monday and 53 recoveries and that Goa with 91,000 plus tests have tested 6.07 per cent of the population.

D’Sa added that 2.83 per cent of the tests are positive and the fatality rate is 0.61 per cent, while the recovery is 59 per cent.

He further said that on Monday 54 cases were recorded from Tulip Diagnostics, Verna, Cuncolim 12, Chimbel 10, Mangor linked 22. [H]