The state health department has threatened to take strong action against both public and private sector hospitals if any patient is denied admission against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging Bengal, with more than 500 people having already died of the disease in the state.

Regular incidents of denial of admission of patients in different hospitals prompted the health department led by the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee to issue orders today in order to streamline the government and private healthcare system.

In two separate orders Swasthya Bhavan has directed that the health department will cancel licences if any private hospital is found denying admission or treatment of non-Covid and Covid patients.

The state government may also start criminal cases against the private hospital if the charge of denying admission or treatment is proved true.

For government hospitals, the health department will take strong steps against the head and doctors of the concerned department if they do not admit or provide medical attention to the patient regardless of whether he or she is a Covid or non-Covid one.

With the surge in number of coronavirus cases every day, the health department is being flooded with allegations of denying admission of patients in different hospitals.

About one and a half months ago, state-run N R S Medical College Hospital had denied admission of a pregnant woman of Howrah who was rushed to the maternity ward of the teaching hospital in labour pain.

NRS Hospital doctors had allegedly sent her back without giving medical attention as she was a resident of a corona-affected red zone in Howrah. After coming back home she had given birth of a baby but the newborn died within a few hours.

On Friday, a coronavirus patient of Bagbazar area was allegedly denied admission at Medical College Hospital. Several private hospitals in the city also allegedly deny treatment of patients fearing Covid-19 infections.

On Monday, a 67 year-old coronavirus-affected man was also denied admissions by a private hospital along EM Bypass first and then by a government hospital. Finally he got a berth at the government hospital around 11 pm of that day.

“We had requested the chief minister seeking her intervention to stop this trend of denying admissions of both Covid and non-Covid patients by hospitals,” said Dr Manas Gumta, secretary of Association of Health Service Doctors.