The state of Uttar Pradesh has decided to stretch the domain of free post-COVID treatment across all district health centres, hospitals and medical colleges. Reportedly, this provision was previously available only at designated state-run post COVID centres in UP. This decision has ushered in a significant economic respite for the people, who have been trialled by the grave infection and its hefty bills.
The facility will be provided in all medical colleges, state-aided, autonomous and private institutions including Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, King George's Medical University and Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.
COVID relief extends in Uttar Pradesh
The second wave of coronavirus infection has brought in a surging influx of several post-COVID complications along with a load of fresh cases, in the nation. Uttar Pradesh too saw rising a stark rise in the number of patients who continue to suffer from other medical conditions during or after recovery. The move will benefit one in the coronavirus positive patients, who get hospitalised for the infection but cannot be discharged on account of other issues. As per reports, over 20,000 of the 62,000 active cases are undergoing treatment in UP.
Principal Secretary of Medical Education stated, "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." Given their integrated treatment, the administration has decided to extend free treatment to all such patients, in public interest. This will include all those patients who complain about after-effects of treatment, during or after recovery.
Free treatment at ALL coronavirus treatment facilities in UP
The free treatment facility will be made available across the state, in all medical colleges, state-aided, autonomous and private hospitals and other health care centres. In Lucknow, people can avail the provision at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, King George's Medical University and Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.
The government orders assure the continuity of free treatment to those already admitted here. However, no specific notification has been issued for patients who are getting re-admitted to hospitals, following a post-COVID complication after their discharge. Sources, on the other hand, have 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 added.
Comorbid conditions, COVID infection & sequel complications add to patients' woes
Several patients who require hospitalisation due to coronavirus infection suffer from at least one comorbid condition. The treatment procedures cause a severe impact then. For example, the blood sugar levels of those with diabetes get deranged post-Covid-19 treatment which relies on steroids. Thus, other simultaneous therapies and treatment are run which adds to the cost.
A number of such patients require insulin therapy and other administration of medicines through the intravenous route. A senior faculty member of the SGPGI explained, "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."
According to experts, problems like post-Covid-19 pneumonia lung fibrosis is a common complication to the COVID infection and requires high dependency care. The emergence of black fungus infection is also rising as another epidemic threat in recovering or recovered patients. It has been inferred in a number of cases that the virus causes acute renal (liver) disease which requires long term management. The heart is also known to adversely suffer from COVID infection. In such times, this decision has brought great relief to the patients along with their families, who have long been fighting the battle since months.