The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to extend free treatment to those suffering with problems in the post Covid-19 phase.
The move will benefit one in 10 Covid-19 positive patients who get hospitalised for management of the infection but cannot be discharged on account of other complications.
Till date, over 20,000 of the 62,000 active cases are undergoing treatment in the state.
The facility will be provided in all medical colleges, state aided, autonomous and private, and in institutions including the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, King George’s Medical University and Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.
Principal Secretary, Medical Education, Alok Kumar said: “It has come to the notice of the state government that despite testing negative to the pandemic infection, some patients continue to suffer due to post Covid-19 complications.”
He said that such patients have to continue to stay in hospitals for management and they have to bear the cost of treatment too.
“In public interest, the state government has decided to bear the cost of the extended treatment,” Kumar added.
The government order guarantees free continuity of treatment to those already admitted but is silent on cases who get re-admitted to hospital following a post-Covid issue arising after discharge.
Sources said that the department may come up with a clear protocol on this as well.
“The government is not averse to extending treatment to cases of re-admission as well but then a time frame may be fixed in this regard,” an official said.
A large number of patients who get hospitalized, suffer with, at least, one comorbid condition.
For example, the blood sugar levels of those with diabetes get deranged post Covid-19 treatment which relies on steroids.
A number of such patients require insulin therapy and other administration of medicines through the intravenous route.
“At times, patients recover from coronavirus infection but their organs do not recover from the damage caused by the pandemic virus. Under the present system, the moment they test negative, patient care management becomes chargeable. Some patient families expressed inability to bear the treatment,” said a senior faculty member at the SGPGI.
According to experts, problems like post Covid-19 pneumonia lung fibrosis is a common sequel to the infection and requires high dependency care.
In a number of patients, the virus is known to cause acute renal disease which also requires long term management.
Covid-19 infection is known to adversely impact the heart as well.