The Karnataka government said the licenses of private hospitals that refuse to hand over the body of a COVID-19 victim to the kin until they clear outstanding payment will be revoked.

A COVID19 victim body taken out from a hearseRepresntational Image/PTI
Coronavirus COVID-19 Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 13:17

The Karnataka government has directed Health officials to revoke the licenses of private hospitals that refuse to hand over the body of a COVID-19 victim to the kin until they clear outstanding payment. In an order dated May 24, the government stated that under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, 2007, the hospitals cannot withhold the body from the kin to force them to pay bills.

“Under sub-clause six of Part 11 (i) of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act (KPME), 2007, it is stated that hospitals cannot refuse to hand over the dead body of a patient to the kin unless they clear the dues,” read the order. If such cases are reported, district health officers have been instructed to take appropriate action and cancel the registration of the hospital under the provisions of the KPME Act, the order further said.

The government, in the order signed by Health Secretary Jawaid Akhtar, mandated that such incidents shall be notified to the state weekly along with necessary information on the cases and the action taken.

The state’s Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar in a press conference on May 24 had directed the state-run hospitals to install CCTV cameras in their COVID-19 wards and in Intensive Care Units where COVID-19 patients are being treated. This, he said, will allow the patients’ family to oversee their treatment and progress through video.

The Minister also said that it was necessary to limit the entry of visitors, such as relatives of patients, to the hospitals. Sudhakar noted that allowing more visitors could be dangerous as it could spread the infection further. He said this will also ensure that the medical staff are able to discharge their duties smoothly, and condemned assaults by relatives on staff members on COVID-19 duty.

To address the shortage of staff in the health sector in the state, 1,763 doctors and general practitioners have been recruited, the Minister said. This includes 715 specialists, 75 general medicine practitioners, 57 general surgeons, 145 gynaecologists, 40 ENT specialists, 35 dermatologists, 142 anaesthesiologists and 153 paediatricians.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.