NMC warns of action against closed hospitals,labs

Nagpur: Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe has cautioned against action against private medical services that are shut down without any specific purpose during the lockdown. He made it compulsory for all private clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and drug stores to stay open so that people access treatment in their respective areas and there is no rush at certain centers.

Mundhe provided notice of action against closed medical services under the related parts of the Infectious Diseases Act 1897 and the Indian Penal Code on Sunday.”It is very important for private health facilities to remain available, including hospitals, clinics, medical shops, radiology centers, pathology laboratories, etc.

Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has received reports from individuals that some private medical shops have been closed after being locked down. This will cause people serious difficulty in accessing medical services. Private medical service should therefore not remain closed for no genuine reason, “he said.

Some hospitals, drug shops, pathology laboratories had remained shut down in the last few days. Throughout lockout, this meant people had to move to other places and also be part of the crowd where these facilities are available.

Dr. Vinky Rughwani, vice-president of the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMA), said, “MMC recently allowed medical practitioners to have phone consultations. It does not mean clinics /OPDs will be closed. Citizens are in danger because of the Covid-19 situation and need prescriptions in case of symptoms such as fever, cold, etc. All should also keep services running, “he said. Also, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) clarified that it did not ask its members to stop practicing or close clinics.

“A detailed letter of appeal with instructions was sent to all IMA leaders in the state on 23 and 24 March for the continued provision of medical services. They will diagnose and treat emergency patients outside of Covid-19, “said Dr Avinash Bhondve, president of the IMA state.

As per guidelines, physicians should not allow more than four patients in the waiting room, should provide all patients with liquid soap sanitizer, make them aware of handwashing techniques, and ask them to wear masks and encourage them to stay at home.

IMA also said, “On the first day of the lockout, police had obstructed staff from several clinics. In several cases, our doctors and nurses were beaten up even before they presented their identity cards.

Their families were frightened when they went home, which discouraged them from going to work. The services were affected because there was no staff available to issue case papers, assist physicians, give medications, and clean up, “Bhondve said.

Doctors often see a lack of N-95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used during a patient’s test and therefore feel vulnerable and unprotected.

“A lot of doctors think about the shortage of PPE. Many use plain masks of fabric or surgical masks that can be disposed of. Some had to keep their clinic closed so as to avoid the risk of catching and spreading the infection, “a leading Nagpur private practitioner said.

“We would like to take up some evidence and the ground realities that doctors in the state face,”said Nagpur IMA president Dr.Kush Jhunjhunwala.

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