Guj: AMC scraps rule on admission of COVID-19 patients arriving in '108' ambulances

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Ahmedabad, Apr 28 (PTI) The civic body in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city on Wednesday withdrew its rule that a COVID-19 patient has to arrive in a '108' ambulance to get admitted in a hospital.

The move has come after the Gujarat High Court asked the state government to direct hospitals to admit all COVID-19 patients approaching them, instead of just those arriving through '108' (helpline) ambulance service.

The HC had raised the question of government and designated COVID-19 hospitals in Ahmedabad attending only to patients coming in EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute-run) '108' ambulances and ignoring those brought in private vehicles.

'Starting Thursday, the city's COVID-19 hospitals will admit patients on the basis of their need, irrespective of whether they arrived on '108' ambulances, private ambulances, private vehicles, or on foot,' the AMC said, following a high-level meeting on Wednesday.

In order to increase the number of COVID-19 beds in the city, the AMC has also directed private hospitals to allocate 75 per cent of its operational beds for infected patients, which will add another 1,000 beds, the civic body said.

The AMC had made it mandatory for patients getting admitted in hospitals under the AMC quota to first register on the '108' centralised system.

Patients were granted admission in such hospitals only when they arrived by '108' ambulances and denied entry in case they arrived in other vehicles.

This criterion was also required for the newly-created 900-bed hospital in the city's GMDC ground.

With rising cases, the patients were being made to wait for hours to avail the service, and many who arrived at COVID-19 hospitals in private vehicles were denied admission, in some cases leading to their deaths.

In another decision, the civic body also withdrew the requirement of Aadhaar cards for admission in some hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.

All city hospitals will have to meet the requirements of OPD/triage (degree of urgency) for examination and immediate admission of COVID-19 patients on the basis of their requirements, the release stated.

Hospitals will also be required to provide real-time information about bed availability on the government portal, and put up a display board outside showing the status of beds, it said. PTI KA PD ARU ARU