The West Bengal government on Thursday said no approval is required by any hospital for testing an individual for COVID-19 as per the protocol of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
In an advisory, the government asked all hospitals in the state not to deny healthcare services to any patient “for any reason whatsoever”.
The advisory was issued a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged private hospitals not to refuse any patient approaching them for treatment of coronavirus infection.
The chief minister’s appeal came after allegations were raised that some private facilities are refusing to treat patients with symptoms of coronavirus.
According to the advisory, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on April 28 issued a guideline “on the early normalisation of services in the health sector for providing non-COVID 19 essential service to patients”.
The guideline is for the ready reference and necessary action of all hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state to ensure that such facilities are available to every patient, the advisory said.
“Further it is clarified that no government approval is required for either admitting or treating any patient in any healthcare facility or for testing an individual for COVID-19 as per ICMR’s testing protocol,” it said.
The state government has collaborated with 51 private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients and is bearing all the expenses of their treatment, the chief minister said on Wednesday.
“But other hospitals also can treat coronavirus cases by taking necessary precautionary measures. I appeal to everybody to provide treatment to them,” she had said.