National policy for admission to COVID Care facilities revised to make it more patient-centric
New Delhi, May 8, 2021
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the national policy for admission of patients to various categories of COVID facilities.
Among other changes, the requirement of a positive test for the COVID-19 virus will not be mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility under the revised policy.
A suspect case will be admitted to the suspect ward of CCC, DCHC or DHC, as the case may, an official press release said.
"This patient-centric measure aims to ensure a prompt, effective and comprehensive treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19." an official press release said.
The Government has issued a directive to all States and UTs, hospitals under the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territory administration including private hospitals on managing such patients.
According to the policy, no patient will be refused services on any count. This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city. No patient shall be refused admission on the ground that he/she is not able to produce a valid identity card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located.
Hospital admissions must be based on need. It should be ensured that beds are not occupied by persons who do not need hospitalization. Further, the discharge should be strictly following the revised discharge policy available here.
The Health Ministry has advised the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to issue necessary orders and circulars, incorporating the above directions within three days, which shall be enforced till replaced by an appropriate uniform policy.
The Health Ministry has earlier enunciated a policy of setting up a three-tier health infrastructure for appropriate management of suspect/confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The guidance document issued on April 7, 2020, envisages the setting up of COVID Care Centre (CCC) for mild cases. These have been set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums, lodges etc., both public and private. Functional hospitals like CHCs, etc. which may be handling regular, non-COVID cases may also be designated as COVID Care Centres as a last resort.
Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) will offer care for all cases that have been clinically assigned as moderate. These should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit/zoning. Private hospitals may also be designated as COVID Dedicated Health Centres. These hospitals would have beds with assured Oxygen support.
Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH) should offer comprehensive care primarily for those who have been clinically assigned as severe. These hospitals should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit. Private hospitals may also be designated as COVID Dedicated Hospitals. These hospitals would have fully equipped ICUs, Ventilators and beds with assured Oxygen support.
The COVID health infrastructure has been aligned with clinical management protocol for admission of mild cases to CCC, moderate cases to DCHC and severe cases to DCH.