Will take action if private doctors don’t open facilities, says minister

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Maharashtra’s Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh on Monday said private medical practitioners should respond to the appeal made by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to open their facilities, and the government will be forced to take action against them if they fail to do so.

“The State government has been requesting private medical practitioners to open clinics or hospitals and at many places it has not been followed. We are appealing to owners of the hospitals to start these services at the earliest. If this is not followed, the government will be left with no option but to take action against them. However, we are working towards ensuring that people do not suffer due to this,” he said at a press conference.

Mr. Thackeray has been appealing to private medical practitioners to reopen their clinics and hospitals so that non-COVID-19 patients do not suffer. He even held a meeting with top private doctors and hospitals, assuring them that the State will help them in every way possible to ensure their smooth functioning.

On the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for private doctors, in case they start operating, Mr. Deshmukh said sufficient PPE kits and masks are available for all medical practitioners. “The State has already sought additional PPE kits and masks from the Centre to meet the growing demand.”

Mr. Deshmukh refuted the Opposition’s allegations that the State is suppressing patients’ numbers, and termed it baseless. He urged people to be extra cautious as there is no vaccine or medicine available for COVID-19, and contact a doctor immediately if they develop symptoms of the virus.

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