Give admission to COVID infected HCPs on priority: Health Ministry orders its hospitals
New Delhi: Through a recent order, the Union Health Ministry has issued a set of directions to Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) and Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) asking them to provide priority admission to Covid-19 infected healthcare workers of the facility and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The decision comes in light of the fact that a number of health care providers of various categories working with the hospitals and the DGHS are contracting Covid-19 infection while performing their duties. However, they are not getting hospital beds and requisite life-saving emergency treatment.
"I appeal to the governments to not break the backbone of the country, of those who are leading the fight against the pandemic, by treating COVID worriers as secondary. It's high time that the hospital administration takes cognisance of the matter and support the hard-working COVID warriors," the doctor was quoted as saying in a report by The Quint.
Another 60-year-old Delhi doctor who tested positive died due to lack of oxygen after he was unable to get a hospital bed.
Taking note of the continued woes and to keep the morale of COVID warriors high so as to enable them to attend to their duties without fear or stress, the Health Ministry has now issued directions for the three Central Government Hospitals asking the Medical Superintendents or Directors as under;
i. Identify a suitable site in the Hospital with five to ten beds along with requisite consumables and equipment for attending to such patients (staff patients).
ii. Admission on these beds shall be done by carefully scrutinizing the patient through the Emergency Department only and this facility shall not be allowed to be misused at any point of time.
iii. An officer may be designated as Nodal Officer to run and maintain such facility till such time as necessitated by the situation.
iv. The admitted staff patients must be supported in all possible ways, including requisite medical care, drugs, and IV fluids, consumables, safe drinking water, protein-rich diet, clean healthy environment, etc. as any other patient would require and get.
v. Upon admission of the staff-patient, the concerned MS/Director must personally watch/oversee the treatment and treatment conditions at such sites on daily basis.
vi. Every effort must be made to establish two-way communication with the attendants/family of the staff-patient, as one would do for any other patient.
vii. In case, admission at such site is not feasible because of 100% occupancy, the MS/Director of the concerned facility must find out the availability of such beds at similar sites in other hospitals, and if a bed is available there, the staff-patient shall be transported in a suitably equipped ambulance under the care of a qualified healthcare professional so as to maintain the continuity of care en-route.
Complying with the order, the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rana A K Singh of RML hospital issued a notice stating, " Health Care Workers of this hospital who are performing round-the-clock duty during this pandemic are contracting COVID 19 infection. When they are falling sick, they are not able to get a bed in COVID Ward. Needless to say that this will have a very negative impact on the commitment and psyche of these Health Care Workers. Hence, it is decided that when a Health Care Worker of this hospital needs admission, they should be admitted on Priority. We have to save these Saviors."
Similarly, the Additional Medical Superintendent, Dr RK Srivastava, Safdarjung Hospital also issued a circular that reads, "The health care workers of the hospital are currently being burnt out while managing the upsurge of covid-19 victims and are themselves getting affected in doing so. Hence, the authorities have decided that all categories of healthcare workers of the hospital should be treated and admitted in the hospital on a priority basis."
Both the hospitals have already shared the notice and the circular with all the competent authorities including the principal, the head of the departments, and other designated officials of the facility.