Health dept staff leaking info about Covid patients?

Last week, a private hospital called a Covid patient over the phone offering to provide treatment at home. The family recorded the conversation and lodged a complaint with the District Collector.
Image used for reptresentational purpose only.
Image used for reptresentational purpose only.

SALEM: District Collector S Karmegam ordered inquiry into allegations that some health department staff were sharing details of Covid-19 patients with private hospitals. This follows a complaint by a resident of Pachapatti, whose family tested positive, that he was approached by a private hospital offering treatment at home.

Details of people visiting government hospitals with Covid-19 symptoms and for test are recorded and forwarded to respective PHCs for follow-up if they test positive. Last week, a private hospital called a Covid patient over the phone offering to provide treatment at home. The family recorded the conversation and lodged a complaint with the District Collector.

K Suresh Babu (49), a resident of Pachapatti, said his mother tested positive on January 24. Two days later, his son and he tested positive. "On the morning of January 27, my son and I visited the Anna Hospital (govt hospital) in Ammapet and doctors advised us home isolation. With hours of coming home, a woman called from a private hospital with details of our family and said the hospital provides treatment at home. When I asked her how she got my details, she did not answer and cut the call," he said.

Speaking to TNIE, former BJP district president R P Gopinath, who helped the family lodge the complaint, alleged that senior officials in the health department were hand in glove with private hospitals in Salem and were passing on details of patients.

"If anyone lodges a complaint with the health department, no action is taken against private hospitals. Now in this issue, the concerned private hospital is allegedly run by a top official in the health department. The hospital was banned from admitting Covid patients last year for violating norms. How could a private hospital get details of patients visiting government hospitals without help from the department? The Government take action against the private hospital and officials involved."

On Monday, officials from the Joint Director (JD) of medical services office conducted an inquiry with Suresh Babu and Gopinath. Joint Director Dr K Nedumaran said, "We visited the private hospital on Sunday and they claimed they did not make the call. We are investigating further."

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