Clinic tie-up plan to fight Puja surge in Calcutta
The state government has asked private hospitals to tie up with nursing homes so that the bigger healthcare units can create more critical care beds for Covid-19 patients while patients with moderate symptoms can be treated at the smaller facilities.
The government made the plea at a meeting on Wednesday, where private hospitals were also told that they would be given the licence to install equipment for treating Covid patients at the satellite units they have set up in hotels.
The state government had earlier asked private hospitals to increase the number of beds ahead of the festival season, apprehending a sharp rise in the number of Covid cases during and after the Puja.
“We have asked the hospitals to tie up with nursing homes so the Covid treatment infrastructure can be augmented. Patients with moderate symptoms can be treated at nursing homes under the supervision of doctors of the hospitals with which the tie-up has been done. If the patient’s condition becomes critical, the person can be shifted to hospital,” Bengal health secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam said on Thursday.
Many private hospitals have said they will convert general beds dedicated for Covid treatment into critical care beds, in anticipation of a surge in the number of critical Covid patients.
Many private hospitals have told the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission that they will together add about 500 Covid beds before the Puja. But government officials said that might not be enough. Hence, the request to tie up with nursing homes.
“We have tied up with 20-odd nursing homes in and around Calcutta. Our doctors and nurses are going to these nursing homes to treat Covid patients when required,” said Rupak Barua, the Group CEO of AMRI Hospitals.
“Many patients are reluctant to go to nursing homes because they are not sure about the facilities there. A tie-up between hospitals and nursing homes will boost their confidence,” Barua said.
An official of a nursing home in Calcutta said nursing homes had difficulty accommodating Covid patients because of lack of infrastructure.
The health department has also offered to provide a clinical establishment licence for the satellite facilities set up by hospitals in hotels.
“If we get the licence, basic monitors can be installed and we can keep crash trolleys with equipment to treat a patient who collapses suddenly. Also, oxygen cylinders can be kept,” said R, Venkatesh, regional director, east, Narayana Health, which has two satellite units.
“Now, we keep only patients with mild or no symptoms in satellite units. If these equipment are installed, patients with moderate symptoms can be kept there, too,” he said.