Hospitals cannot deny treatment to pregnant women, despite COVID status

Pregnant women and patients with chronic kidney disease will be provided medical services and facilities, irrespective of their COVID status in government as well as private hospitals and health facilities under the Clinical Establishments Act.

In an order issued on 5 October, Arunachal Pradesh Health Secretary Dr P Parthiban instructed all hospitals/health facilities in the state with gynaecologic services and facilities to provide obstetric services to all pregnant women, irrespective of their COVID status.

“Referring cases for institutional deliveries/cesarean section to far-off dedicated COVID hospital for being COVID positive should be avoided. Any refusal to render services to pregnant women based on their COVID status may be fatal to the baby and the mother as well, and shall be construed as medical negligence,” the order said.

The health facilities have also been directed to maintain the protocols for infection prevention, have PPE for the medical team, and ensure proper disposal of bio-medical waste as per guidelines.

“Patients with chronic kidney disease, irrespective of their COVID status, shall also not be denied dialysis facilities,” the health department said.

Additionally, the health facilities cannot refuse treatment to COVID-19 patients, as per the order.