On Saturday, 8 May, the Union Health Ministry revised the national policy for hospital admissions of COVID patients, mentioning that a positive RT-PCR test result is not mandatory for getting admitted to a COVID care facility.
Here’s a lowdown on the revised policy.
I do not have a positive COVID-19 test to show, can I still seek admission?
Yes, you do not require a positive test of COVID-19 to get admitted into a COVID health facility.
What about suspected COVID cases?
A suspected COVID patient can be admitted to the suspect ward of a COVID Care Center (CCC), a Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) or a Dedicated COVID Hospital (DHC), as the case may be.
CCCs will offer care for mild cases, DCHCs will offer care for moderate ones and DCHs will provide care to those patients who have been clinically assigned as severe.
Can I be refused services by a facility?
No, a patient will not be refused services on any count, including medications like oxygen, essential drugs, even if the patient is from a different city. The revised guidelines state that admissions should be based on the need.
What if I do not have a local ID but need hospital admission away from home?
That’s alright. Patients cannot be refused admission if they are not able to show a valid identity proof that is not from the city where the COVID hospital is located.
When can someone be discharged from the hospital, if they are showing signs of recovery?
All discharges should be in accordance with the revised policy available on the ministry’s website. “It should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalisation,” the policy added.
When will these guidelines be enforced?
The Health Ministry has asked the chief secretaries of different states and Union Territories to issue enforcement orders incorporating the aforementioned changes within three days.
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