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GMCH to close down for general patients

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 27 - As part of its preparedness to deal with the possible spread of coronavirus, the State government has decided to close down the GMCH for general patients from tomorrow, barring its gynaecology, cancer and emergency units, and kept it aside exclusively for COVID 19 cases.

Other patients will be redirected to the 34 private hospitals in the city and the government will reimburse the expenditure at the rate �more or less� prescribed under Atal Amrit or Aiyushman Bharat.

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said MoUs have been signed with the 34 private hospitals in the city which will bear GMCH�s patient burden for the next two months.

�The same model will be followed for Assam Medical College & Hospital in Dibrugarh and at Silchar Medical College and Hospital,� Sarma said.

There are around 750 patients currently admitted at GMCH and they will continue to get treatment but �in isolation�. This move, he said, would also reduce the crowd of around 7,000-8,000 patients and attendants who come to GMCH daily, and thus reduce the possible chances of man-to-man transmission of coronavirus.

The validity of the MoU with the hospitals will be for two months initially and might be extended if required.

�The patients can go the private hospitals directly. The Atal Amrit or Aiyushman Bharat can be procured at MMCH or at the Six Mile office. Even without a card, the hospitals will provide the treatment. The cards can be made later. The hospitals will make their bills in seven days and the payment will be made on the tenth working day,� the Health Minister said. The government will issue an advertisement listing the hospitals and the departments assigned to them to handle the general patients.

The health department has also called back the 600 final-year medical students to their respective medical colleges and they would be given a seven-day intensive training to treat coronavirus patients from tomorrow.

�They will stay at their hostels and the government will provide them fooding. We are also calling back the final-year nursing, dental and ayurvedic students and a similar training will be given to them, too. By doing this, we intend to create a poll of additional 2,500 healthcare providers to be used for treating COVID-19 cases,� he said, adding that around 600 new MBBS graduates who are serving rural posting will be on standby.

Any health practitioner who treats COVID cases will work for seven days and remain in quarantine for the next 14 days.

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