Aizawl, May 6: The Mizoram government on Thursday served a show-cause notice to the medical superintendent of state-run Zoram Medical College (ZMC) and Hospital seeking an explanation for issuing a notification asking Covid and non- Covid patients to pay for oxygen without approval of the authorities.
The official was asked to reply to the notice on or before May 12.
The notice issued by state health secretary Lalramnghaka said that Dr H.C. Laldina, the medical superintendent of ZMC, had issued an order on May 4 stating, those infected with coronavirus and non-COVID-19 patients were required to pay for the usage of oxygen and high flow nasal cannula (HFNC)/ventilators and the amount so realised would be debited to Rogi Kalyam Samiti (RKS) account.
As any order under RKS has to be referred to the executive committee and governing board as the case may be, the official was directed to clarify whether approval of the authorities was obtained or not, it said.
“Since, charging fees for usage of oxygen and HFNC/ventilators at the government hospital especially during COVID-19 pandemic being a policy matter of government, you are hereby directed to clarify reasons for not approaching the government before issuance of the said order,” the notice said.
According to the order issued by the medical superintendent, non-COVID infected patients were asked to pay Rs 30 for oxygen per hour, while those with COVID-19 were directed to pay Rs 50 per hour for oxygen flow rate up to 5 litres and Rs 75 per hour for the flow rate of the life-saving gas between 5 litres and 12 litres.
As for the usage of ventilator or HFNC, Rs 120 per hour would be charged from COVID-19 patients, the order had said.
However, the order was revoked by the government on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, medical operational team chairman and ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) MLA Dr ZR Thiamsanga said that the team had proposed to the state government to appeal to government employees to donate a portion of their salary to fight the pandemic.
Health Minister Dr Lalthangliana on Thursday convened a meeting of officials, community leaders and representatives of churches and civil society organisations to review the COVID-19 situation, especially the need for setting up government COVID Care Centres (CCC) or Community COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCC) across the state to cope with the crunch of facilities, an official said.
At present, there are 36 CCCs across the state, including 11 in Aizawl district.
There are 2 paid CCCs in Aizawl, which can accommodate 41 patients, he said.
The official said that the state government is making an effort to turn Mizoram Rural Bank head office at Mizo New Capital Complex in Aizawl into a paid CCC. (PTI)