Delhi medical body hits out at Kejriwal over remark on 'black marketing' of hospital beds

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 07, 2020

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi Medical Association on Saturday slammed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for warning hospitals that strict action would be taken against them if they declined to take in Covid-19 patients or indulged in "black marketing" of beds, even as the national Capital was witnessing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, an NDTV report said.

"Delhi Medical Association strongly condemns the way Delhi CM (Chief Minister) is warning the doctors and threatening the hospitals about Covid-19 patients admissions and tests," the body said in a statement.

"Doctors who have been serving the people of Delhi tirelessly over the last two months during the pandemic , risking their lives, feel insulted by the way they are being treated," it added.

"Hospitals are the backbone of healthcare and are serving Covid and non-Covid patients. They are being penalised and instead of praising their efforts, the government is issuing new diktats daily," the statement said.

The medical body also hit out at the police case filed against the authorities of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a leading private facility, that has been charged with violating rules for registering coronavirus tests.

"Doctors of Delhi are already overworked and overstressed in this hour of pandemic crisis and the state government is unnecessarily putting pressure on healthcare systems," the statement said, claiming the support of its 15,000 members.

The medical body asked for the setting up a committee for medical professionals that could coordinate with the Delhi government to provide adequate testing facilities, smoother patient transfers, and cremations.

Delhi recorded 1,320 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the total to 27,654, including 761 deaths. Multiple complaints have emerged of patients being refused admission in recent days and that medical centres in the capital were swelling with patients.

Addressing an online media briefing amid concerns of patients being refused by hospitals, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will depute medical professionals to each private hospital to ensure patients are aware of the beds available and are admitted without any hassle, NDTV reported.

"False refusal cannot be tolerated and admitting coronavirus patients is non-negotiable... There are some private hospitals that are resorting to such means. First, they say they don't have beds and when patients insist, they demand a huge amount. Isn't this black-marketing of beds?" Kejriwal said.

Published on June 07, 2020

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