‘Rope in private sector to augment hospital infrastructure’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 24, 2021

Centre also guides States on the vaccination strategy from May 1

A comprehensive action plan to augment the existing hospital infrastructure is on the cards, with the States being guided by the Centre.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat Covid-19 Chairman RS Sharma chaired a high-level meeting today. They guided the States/UTs on ways to boost hospital infra and effectively implement the new vaccination strategy (Phase-III) from May 1.

Under the vaccination drive for those above 18 years of age, the Centre has asked States to register more private vaccination centres in “mission mode” by engaging with the private hospitals, hospitals of industrial establishments and industry associations.

The States will have to prioritise direct procurement of vaccines by them and publicise the ‘only online registration’ facility for those in the 18-45 age group, an official release said after the meeting.

Dedicated facilities

The Centre has asked States to identify additional dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, prepare field hospital facilities either through the DRDO, CSIR or similar agencies. The States have to ensure adequate oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and oxygen supplies. Also, they need to set up centralised call centre-based services for allocation of beds.

Meanwhile, all the States have been advised to deploy requisite human resources with proper training and mentoring of doctors and nurses for management of patients and to strengthen ambulance services. They need to establish sufficient referral linkages for districts with deficit infrastructure through deployment of additional ambulances.

For the better management, the states have been advised to maintain a real-time record for available beds and make is easily accessible to general public. They have to create guidelines and enable states to take over private health facilities to provide COVID-19 care. Expand designated COVID-19 care facilities for isolation of asymptomatic and mild symptomatic patients so that all those who either cannot isolate at home and/or are willing for institutional isolation, have access to the requisite space and care

Besides, the States need to step up the setting up of oxygen plants inside large hospitals.

Besides that, they need to provide tele-medicine facilities for patients who are isolated at home and ensure adequate availability of oxygen, ventilators and intensive care under trained doctors, as well as access to steroids and other drugs as appropriate. They need to step up creation of in-hospital oxygen plants in large hospitals and pay fair and regular remuneration to ASHAs and other frontline workers who are being engaged for COVID-19.

Published on April 24, 2021

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