NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday ruled that a positive test report will no longer be mandatory for admission into dedicated Covid centres for coronavirus patients in need of treatment, under the revised national policy for admission of Covid patients to such facilities.
The revised policy applies to both government as well as private hospitals, earmarked for treating Covid patients.
The move to tweak norms comes after anecdotal reports from several states that Covid centres have been turning away patients needing immediate medical intervention, leading to further deterioration in their condition, in the absence of test reports.
Some states, including Delhi, have already made it clear that hospitals should not insist on a positive test result to grant admission to a patient, in need of medical care.
Doing away with this criterion, said the Centre, will make the national policy for admission of Covid patients to various categories of coronavirus facilities, more patient-centric.
The requirement of a positive test for the coronavirus is not mandatory for admission to a Covid health facility, the new norms say and add that a suspect case should be admitted to the suspect ward of Covid care center, dedicated Covid healthcare centre, or dedicated Covid hospitals.
The policy also says that no patient will be refused services on any count.
“This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city,” the tweaked norms say.
It has also been clarified that no patient should be refused admission on the ground that they are not able to produce a valid identity card from the city or place where the hospital is located.
The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry also said that admissions to the hospital must be based on need.
“It should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalization. Further, the discharge should be strictly in accordance with the revised discharge policy,” the Centre has said.
The Union government has asked chief secretaries of the states to issue necessary orders and circulars, incorporating these directions within three days, which will be enforced till replaced by an appropriate uniform policy.
“This patient-centric measure aims to ensure a prompt, effective, and comprehensive treatment of patients suffering from Covid,” said the ministry in a statement.