No private hospital or medical establishment in Karnataka can turn away or deny treatment to COVID-19 patients, said a top official on Sunday.
"Private medical establishments in the state shall not deny, refuse or avoid treatment to patients with COVID-19 and COVID-19 like symptoms," ordered Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar.
Bhaskar highlighted that the government took note of some private medical establishments in the state refusing treatment to COVID-19 patients.
According to the chief secretary, such refusals amount to violating Section 11 of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, 2017, which mandates that every private medical establishment should actively participate in the implementation of all national and state health programmes.
"Private medical establishments shall actively participate in the implementation of all national and state health programmes in such manner as the state government may notify," said Bhaskar.
The chief secretary said it is also the statutory duty of all private medical facilities to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and adhere to the Patient's Charter.
Bhaskar invoked the Disaster Management Act 2005 and passed the orders in the capacity of the chairman of the State Executive Committee, Disaster Management, under the powers vested under Sections 24(f) and 24(I).
He also directed the private hospitals to strictly comply with the provisions of Sections 11 and 11 A of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act 2017 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
State Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey also clarified that no private medical college, hospital or similar establishment can deny treatment to COVID-19 patients.
"Private medical colleges, hospitals and establishments cannot deny, refuse or avoid treating COVID-19 patients and persons with COVID-19 symptoms," said Pandey.