PESHAWAR: With coronavirus claiming 37 more lives in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday, the private hospitals in Peshawar and Swat have begun providing admission, ventilator, medical oxygen, diagnosis and medicines to the people infected with the virus free of charge under the government’s Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP).
The public sector hospitals are already offering those services to Covid-19 patients.
SSP deputy director (administration) Dr Aamir Rafiq told Dawn that free services were being offered to 78 coronavirus patients in private hospitals of Peshawar and Swat districts, which were hardest hit by the virus in the province.
He said of those hospitals, four were in Peshawar and two in Swat.
The official said the residents suffering from the virus in the province could avail themselves of those free services in Rehman Medical Institute, Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Al-Khidmat Hospital and Afridi Medical Centre in Peshawar and Waseem Hospital and Anwar Medical Centre in Swat.
He said those services given from the SSP’s reserved funds would be expanded to private hospitals in other districts, including Abbottabad and Mardan, as well.
Dr Aamir said Rs5.2 million had so far been spent on Covid-19 patients in private hospitals, which were being inspected.
He said the eligibility of hospitals for the programme was judged on the availability of human resource, equipment and machines, including oxygen supplies, IDUs, ICU and ventilators.
“We give support to patients in empanelled private hospitals only. The government hospitals are already providing free services to Covid-19 patients and their availability at private facilities as well will benefit people,” he said.
The official said the programme was extended to the entire population of the province last year under which the services were offered to patients in empanelled hospitals.
“We have empanelled 400 hospitals in the country and 177 of them are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.
Dr Aamir said provincial health minister Taimur Salim Jhagra was monitoring the programme to benefit more patients, especially during Covid-19 pandemic, when the patients required beds.
He said the hospitals enlisted for the programme were the best in private sector and the search was on for more, especially in high-risk districts.
Meanwhile, a report of the health department said 12 people died in Peshawar, eight in Swat, six in Mardan, four in Charssada, three in Swabi and one each in Lowe and Upper Dir, Bannu and Abbottabad districts each.
According to it, the province recorded 840 fresh recoveries from the virus taking tally of such patients to 95,515, which is 84 per cent of the total 113,121 cases.
The province with 2.7 per cent case fatality rate (CFR) has 14,103 active cases with Peshawar, Mardan and Swat recording higher number of fatalities and cases compared with others.
The total number of people falling to the virus is 3,103 with the overall 7.2 per cent positivity rate. Mardan has 39.6 per cent positivity rate, Peshawar 26.9 per cent, Nowshera 19.7 per cent, Charssada 17.8 per cent, Swat 16.5 per cent and Abbottabad 8.9 per cent and they all are listed in 17 high-risk districts in terms of mortalities and cases.
The report said Peshawar recorded 251 fresh coronavirus cases, Mardan 120, Swat 111, Lower Dir 94, Haripur 53, Malakand 46, Swabi 30 and Lower Chitral 14.
According to report, the Khyber Teaching Hospital has admitted 112 patients, Hayatabad Medical Complex 156, Lady Reading Hospital 435, Covid-19 Hospital Nishtarabad Peshawar 59 and Abbottabad hospitals 93 and Swat’s 87.
Meanwhile, Provincial Doctors’ Association said retired Captain Dr Syed Mumtaz Hussain, a resident of Upper Kurram area, died of Covid-19 in Islamabad on Saturday.
It said 63 medics had lost life to the virus after contracting infection from patients in hospitals.
The PDA demanded compensation for the families of those health employees.
It urged the people to follow SOPs to prevent the virus saying the hospitals are full to capacity.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021