Regional News

Private hospitals refuse to accommodate more coronavirus patients

KARACHI: The Private Hospitals and Clinics Association (PHCA) has refused to allot more space to the Sindh government for coronavirus patients in private sector health facilities; however, it has agreed to provide consultants in specialized fields.

This was decided in the meeting of the PHCC held at the Sindh Health Minister’s Office in Karachi. The preventatives of the PHCC including Dr Salman Faridi of the Liaquat National Hospital, Dr Asim Hussain of the Dr Ziauddin Hospial, Dr Abdul Bari of the Indus Hospital, Dr Zerkais Ankelsaria, Dr Sadia Rizvi of the South City Hospital, and Dr Aijaz Ahmed Khanzada, Chief Technical Advisor to Secretary Health.

The meeting started with a vote of thanks to the chair for taking the private sector in confidence for the treatment of corona patients. The members strongly objected for not notifying Dr Junaid Ali Shah, President, Private Hospital and Clinics Association, which the Minister kindly agreed to and gave directions to notify him in future decisions.

It was decided that the Sindh Government will make a control and command center under Dr Bari. Private hospitals will provide specialized consultants to this control and command center. The committee is expected to meet regularly to discuss statistics and provide updates regarding the corona situation.

The private sector appreciated the efforts of the Government of Sindh during this challenging time and supported the idea of the lockdown.

There are already 1000 beds available where corona patients are seeking treatment. Various hospitals, including the Aga Khan Hospital, the Indus Hospital, and the Dow University Hospital, have been the primary centers catering to coronavirus patients. The government has provided substantial financial support to these institutions as well.

It was suggested that all hospitals should not be engaged in the process, and some should be left for other patients who require urgent care, particularly the elderly. The meeting noted that once the Indus Hospital, Dow University Hospital, AKUH, and the field isolation center were full, then only will further hospitals be turned into coronavirus treating facilities. These hospitals will be provided with the necessary safety equipment and medicines by the Sindh Government as per their requirement.

The private sector assured that they would provide both equipment and manpower support as needed if the Sindh Government faces a shortage of beds.

The Sindh Health Minister assured the fullest cooperation in this regard.

It was decided that a portal in the Health Department of Sindh would be created by the focal person, Dr Bari, along with a complete handbook on COVID-19 prevention and treatment. The handbook will include prevention and control management, diagnosis and treatment, and nursing and consulting services in regards to COVID-19.

Furthermore, it was suggested that vacant units of the Health Department, such as the 500-bed NIPA Hospital, should be utilized to cater to the crisis.

-MN Report

April 11, 2020

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