Kolkata: A recent survey by the West Bengal Health Department has shown that the intensive care infrastructure in the districts is much improved now.
This has resulted in much less pressure on the medical college hospitals in Kolkata, and top-quality healthcare is now spread out across the state. Much lower number of patients are referred to these hospitals nowadays as the same standards of critical care are available in the district, sub-divisional and rural hospitals. The creation of intensive care infrastructure on a statewide level started from 2013, following a report presented by the health-related Multidisciplinary Expert Group.
The number of critical care units (CCU) in Bengal now is 43 and the number of high-dependency units (HDU), 24. Two of the CCUs were inaugurated recently by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The 67 intensive care units together cover 686 critical care beds.
The Health Department says, from 2015, more than 1.31 lakh patients have been admitted in these beds, most of which has taken place in the districts. They also say that the number of patients being provided ventilation in the CCUs in the districts has been increasing by 10 per cent every year. These are very impressive figures indeed.
According to the survey, which compared the January to July periods of 2017 and 2018, things have changed a lot. Now, the Health Department plans to link all the 67 intensive care units through paperless technology. Digital is the name of the game now.
Behind the improved healthcare with respect to the critical care units are certain steps taken by the Health Department.
Use of technology is extensive now. Doctors in every CCU and HDU are centrally linked to the Health Department through WhatsApp groups. Hence, the solution to any problem is given through these groups; inter-doctor consultation has become much quicker and smoother.
Then, weekly rankings are published regarding the various types of services provided by the CCUs, HDUs and medical colleges. This competition is also helping much in improving the quality of services.
Under the special initiative of the chief minister, who is also the Health Minister, the government health sector, in general, has shown very good results. Newer ways of working, and processes and techniques are being tried out on a regular basis.