Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday announced a medical assistance scheme for BPL card holders seeking treatment at private hospitals in the state amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Khattar said his government will provide an assistance of Rs 5,000 per patient per day, subject to a maximum of seven days with a ceiling of Rs 35,000, to those belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category.
The chief minister also said rates of beds and other facilities have been fixed by the government for COVID-19 patients of all categories, whether from Haryana or outside, undergoing treatment at private hospitals of the state and warned those found overcharging. However, the private COVID designated hospitals giving preference in admissions to Haryana residents would be given an incentive of Rs 1,000 per patient per day with a ceiling of Rs 7,000 for seven days, he said.
Khattar, who was addressing a press conference virtually, said the government will make payment directly to the hospital concerned. Regarding preference in hospital admissions to Haryana residents, Khattar said, COVID registered hospitals will be paid an incentive of Rs 1,000 per patient per day subject to a maximum Rs 7,000. These steps will benefit BPL families as well as patients of (all categories) of Haryana, he said.
He also announced a lump sum financial assistance of Rs 5,000 for those COVID positive patients from BPL families who are under home isolation and incur expenses on medicines. On the COVID situation in the state which has recently seen a surge in infections, Khattar said, We have to collectively fight this We have to face the situation. At the same time, he said, no one should create an atmosphere of fear and panic. We have to go ahead with a spirit of hope for the best and be prepared for the worst, he said.
Khattar said at present, there are 8,556 patients on oxygen support in hospitals while 3,828 are admitted in ICUs or on ventilator support. In Gurgaon, he said 40 per cent patients admitted in hospitals are from Delhi while 20 per cent patients in Faridabad's hospitals are from the national capital, Noida and other parts. In Sonipat and Ambala, 10-20 per cent patients are from other states, he said, adding all are being treated irrespective of where they come from. He said the state government is taking all necessary steps to tackle the present COVID situation which includes making arrangements for additional beds and oxygen. He said, 700 additional beds have been arranged in hospitals and more will be added in the days ahead including two facilities coming up in Hisar and Panipat with DRDO's assistance. Anti-COVID vaccination drive is underway in the state and so far, 39 lakh doses have been given to those above 45 years, he said.
For the 18-44 years category, Haryana has so far got 3 lakh doses, out of which 1.75 lakh doses have been used, he said. Replying to a query, he said the state government has urged the centre to allot 300 MT of medical oxygen daily while highlighted that steps are being taken to ensure available oxygen is distributed in the hospitals as per quota fixed for them, which keeps changing according to demand. Responding to another question, Khattar assured migrant workers that they must continue to work in the state as the government will always extend any help they may require.
With Haryana being under lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, he said volunteers will be deputed to ensure that the poor beneficiaries get delivery of food items at their doorsteps. Asked about the sit-in by Haryana BJP workers in the state on Wednesday to protest the post-poll violence against party workers in West Bengal, he said: It was a symbolic protest, but it was necessary to raise voice against the events which unfolded in West Bengal. Such incidents of violence are unacceptable. There is no place for such acts in our democracy and I strongly condemn such incidents, he added. Khattar also hit out at Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja, saying she is demanding an all-party meeting to discuss the COVID situation and at the same time criticising the government for failing to tackle the issue. This means that she has already set her agenda, said Khattar, asking her not to politicise the issue.