DIBRUGARH, April 17 - Altogether 35 persons, who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, have been released from isolation here today. These persons who were kept under quarantine, have been found to be free from Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the district authority today reviewed the health delivery system here, following complaints that patients were not being received well at several of the city�s nursing homes. After the Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) was declared a designated Covid-19 hospital, almost all the nursing homes here agreed to treat patients who would otherwise have been treated at the AMCH. However, there was a fine print in their agreement with the government. These nursing homes had agreed to accommodate 30 to 40 per cent of their bed strength to patients with government health cards like Ayushman Bharat or Atal Amrit Yojana. To add to the confusion, these cards do not cover all ailments, and patients were asked to pay, leading to heated situations.
It is also learnt that the National Health Mission, being a government entity, has its own red tape in clearing nursing home bills against Ayushman Bharat and Atal Amrit cards. The nursing homes being corporate entities are ill at ease with bureaucratic delays, and it often happens that such card holder patients are refused admission at different nursing homes.
Also, it is a common complaint from dozens of patients that the nursing homes refuse admission in the evening hours on the plea of non availability of doctors. The district administration has received regular complaints to this effect against four major nursing homes of the city. The administration is talking to the managements of these private hospitals to find an acceptable solution, informed Dipu Kumar Deka, Additional Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Health.
At the AMCH, steps are being taken to make the Casualty Ward function throughout the day, to receive patients for minor ailments. Presently, it functions during the second half of the day, from 2 pm onwards. The AMCH departments of Maternity & Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Cardiology are functioning normally. However, the dialysis services have been kept on hold for the time being, and is likely to be resumed from next week. Kidney patients are being redirected to nursing homes due to the Covid-19 preparations.
Apart from the AMCH, the city of Dibrugarh does not have a civil hospital like the MMC in Guwahati. Hence, the heavy dependence on the medical college hospital for health services. This also brings into focus the long pending demand for a 300-bed civil hospital here to complement the AMCH. This demand is pending since the 1980s.
After the Bogibeel bridge was opened in December 2018, the load of patients on the AMCH trebled, especially at the OPD wards. Before the Covid-19 scare surfaced, the hospital was seeing a daily patient load of more than a thousand from all over upper Assam, and both banks of the Brahmaputra. Due to the lockdown, the patient flow has gone down drastically due to non availability of transport. However, senior doctors told this reporter that the patients are there, they are just unable to come due to transport constraints. They said this issue has to be sorted out by the Health Department. Covid-19 is one illness, the others are there, these are just not being reported as the corona scare is overwhelming the population at large. These doctors said a proper plan of action has to be worked out for execution after May 3 this year, once the lockdown is relaxed.