Telangana mandates prior hospital appointment for COVID-19 patients from other states

The state argued that patients without appointments lost valuable time moving from one hospital to another and also potentially spread the infection.
COVID19 containment
COVID19 containment
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COVID-19 patients from the other states travelling to Telangana for admission into hospitals will now have to take a prior appointment with hospitals and authorisation letter from state authorities. As per the orders issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, patients from other states should have a prior tie-up with the hospital in Telangana for the purpose of COVID-19 admissions. The orders were issued in compliance with the provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act 1896 and Disaster Management Act 2005.

"Hospitals in Telangana to apply in the prescribed format to control room (phone number 040-24651119 and 9494438251 (WhatsApp), (email: set up for this purpose, furnishing basic details like name of the patient, age, state, attendant's name, mobile number and type of bed tied-up/care required," the order stated.

"On receipt of the proposal from the hospital, the control room will issue authorisation to travel, based on which the patient can come to Telangana for hospitalisation," it added.

According to the order, it was brought to the government's notice that several COVID-19 patients from different states travel to Telangana in ambulances and private vehicles for admission in hospitals for undergoing treatment without prior tie-up with any hospital in the state.

In the absence of any prior tie-up with hospitals, patients not only lose valuable time moving from one hospital to other but also potentially spread the infection of different strains, it says.

Last week, the Telangana police had stopped ambulances bringing COVID-19 patients from Andhra Pradesh to Hyderabad, citing lack of beds and oxygen. They insisted that the patients produce letters from hospitals concerned about the allocation of beds and the proposed treatment. Several critically-ill patients were turned away from the inter-state border.

At the time, the High Court of Telangana had pulled up the government stating that such acts are a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right to life.

Officials say that more than 50% of beds in the hospitals in Hyderabad are occupied by patients from other states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh. Somesh Kumar had said last week that Hyderabad has become the medical treatment capital of India as several critically-ill patients from various states are being brought to the city in air ambulances.

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