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Private hospitals access Covid patients details: TN health department commence inquiry

- February 1, 2022

Chennai, Feb 1 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu Public health department has commenced inquiry into complaints from several districts of the state that private hospitals are assessing the details of Covid -19 positive patients.

The Health Department has deputed its district-level officers to conduct inquiries in respective districts after several complaints were registered from all parts of the state that private hospitals are assessing the details of patients.

In Salem, a family complained to the District health department that immediately after they tested positive and returned home, they received a call from a private hospital informing them about the services the hospital would provide at their residences.

Former Salem district president of BJP, R.P. Gopinath who helped the family lodge a complaint with the District health authorities while speaking to BPNS said, “This is a racket and as soon as a patient is tested positive and returns home for quarantine as advised by Government PHC doctors, they are receiving calls from a private hospital in the district that the hospital would provide them home care. When asked as to where they assessed their details of turning Covid positive, the hospital staff who called hung up the phone.”

Tamil Nadu health department Joint Director, Dr. Nedumaran has already commenced an inquiry into the matter and has taken the statement of Gopinathan and Suresh Babu, whose family details were assessed by the Private hospital.

In Erode, a family of three tested positive. This includes father Nagaraju (43), his wife Mallika( 37), and their minor daughter. Minutes after they returned home, they received a call from a private hospital in Erode city stating that they would provide home care services. When asked as to how they come to know of them becoming positive, the caller hung up the phone.

Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts are also facing the same menace. At Pammal in Chengalpattu district, Manoj Kumar (41), an employee of a government department tested positive and minutes after he reached home, there was a call from a local private hospital at Chengalpattu stating that they would support the treatment at home and would send nurses and paramedics to take care of the family. Here also when the family questioned their action, the caller hung up.

AIADMK leader, K. Elangovan while speaking to BPNS from Chennai said, “A major racket is in operation across the state and some health department officials are providing details of the patients to the private hospitals and Government must undertake a comprehensive inquiry involving health department, revenue department, and police and charge those responsible. This is not allowable and against all moral and social ethics and stringent action is the need of the hour. Breach of privacy is not a joke and government must step in to curtail this.”

While the governments across the country are fighting a war with the pandemic, some elements in the health department were trying to provide information of those who tested positive to the private hospitals and money would naturally have changed hands. The state public health department and the police department have all the responsibility to cut this and to nip such a matter in the bud itself or else it would do away with all the good work done by the government.

Tamil Nadu health minister, Ma Subramanian while speaking to BPNS said,” If the allegation is true, it is very unfortunate and never should have taken place. The government will take strong action against the perpetrators of such actions. Investigation is on and we will bring the culprits to book.”