A day after India Today TV brought national attention to the plight of general patients undergoing treatment at many hospitals in the Delhi being left in the lurch, the Government of India has now set up a fresh helpline number to attend to non-Covid-19 patients amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The government has set up two helpline numbers — 1) 104: For non-Covid-19 patients to be ferried back and from the hospitals, and 2) 108: For blood donors to travel to and from the hospitals.
Hospitals have also been asked to separate wards for non-Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has ordered officials to move all non-coronavirus patients from the dedicated hospitals to other facilities by Sunday.
Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed the divisional commissioner and the health secretary to ensure that non-Covid-19 patients receive seamless treatment and are not ignored by healthcare service providers, an official said.
“All non-Covid-19 patients should be evacuated from Covid-19 dedicated hospitals by April 19,” he said.
In all, there are 1,291 hospitals and nursing homes, including 1,175 private, across Delhi.
They together have 57,709 beds. Over the past weeks, the Delhi government has dedicated six public hospitals for Covid-19. Three private hospitals also have Covid-only beds.
On April 4, the Delhi government shut Out Patients’ Departments (OPDs) at LNJP Hospital and GB Pant Hospital, days after earmarking them for Coronavirus treatment.
The OPD at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is shut too and the one at Safdarjung Hospital functions with staggered timings. After two Mohalla Clinic doctors from northeast Delhi tested positive, at least 100 of these primary health care centres have also been shut adding to the woes of people seeking medical assistance.
Also, half of the private practitioners across the city have also stopped seeing patients for now.