‘Ensure charges levied by health facilities are reasonable’
The Centre on Monday directed the States and the Union Territories to keep a daily watch on the number of active COVID-19 cases, those under home isolation, hospitalised cases, occupied oxygen and ICU beds and those on ventilatory support, saying the the “situation is dynamic and may change rapidly”.
“Based on this monitoring, the requirement of healthcare workers and their availability health facility wise must also be reviewed daily as was done during the second surge,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to the States and the Union Territories.
Appreciating that while various States and Union Territories initiated steps for the establishment of jumbo health facilities, field hospitals, temporary hospitals among others, Mr. Bhushan said both infrastructure and human resources had their limitations.
It is also important to strictly follow the advisory, issued by the Health Ministry on January 9, for managing healthcare workers in COVID and non-COVID areas of healthcare facilities. The Ministry had suggested that the States and the Union Territories earmark different categories of beds in private clinical establishments for COVID care.
“It must also be ensured that charges levied by such health facilities are reasonable and there is a mechanism to monitor and initiate action in cases of over-charging if any,” Mr. Bhushan said in the letter.
He also suggested engaging retired medical professionals or MBBS students for teleconsultation services and providing skill training of community volunteers in basic care and management at COVID Care Centres. The Health Secretary also suggested requisition of additional ambulances or private vehicles to improve referral transport and facilitate seamless transfer of COVID-19 cases from home isolation or from COVID Care Centres to COVID Dedicated Hospitals.
All district hospitals and medical college hospitals should be used as eSanjeevani teleconsultation hubs. Requisite financial resources for this have already been provided under ECRP-II to States and Union Territories, Mr. Bhushan said.
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