The Union Health Ministry on Saturday urged private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment to ensure that patients, afflicted with the viral disease, are not denied beds and they get prompt care. The ministry, in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and AIIMS, New Delhi, at a virtual conclave with private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment emphasised the collective goal must be to have a health system that is available, affordable and accessible to all.
During the meeting, the importance of timely treatment of comorbid patients to reduce fatality was stressed upon. Hospitals were encouraged to protect healthcare workers by adopting all practices on infection prevention and control and keep the staff motivated, the health ministry said.
Hospitals were also asked to ensure seamless admission of patients. The importance of evidence-based treatment protocols and reducing heterogeneity in treatment of COVID-19 patients was also underscored, it said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan inaugurated the virtual conference.
“He reiterated the government’s resolve to ensure that COVID-19 patients must not be denied beds and must be provided prompt treatment,” the health ministry said. “The collective goal must be to have a health system that is available, affordable and accessible to all. He highlighted that the aim of the Centre along with the states and Union Territories is to achieve a mortality rate of less than one per cent,” the ministry said.
The conclave was organised to provide a platform for discussion on clinical protocols and best practices in COVID-19 management towards reducing avoidable deaths.
According to the ministry, while COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to the country’s healthcare systems, there have been proactive responses from the government as well as the private industry.
“The conclave was organised to share the best practices and effective treatment modules being implemented by the public and private sector hospitals in the country.”
The health ministry also encouraged the hospital representatives to share their key concerns and challenges being faced while managing COVID-19 in their facilities. The best practices included discussion of the teleconsultation sessions conducted by AIIMS, New Delhi, through the e-ICU, Centers of Excellence (CoE) and clinical grand rounds to enhance the clinical management capacities of the ICU doctors in various states and union territories, the ministry said.
This, supplemented by various other focussed strategies of containment, prevention, early identification, has resulted in higher recoveries and steadily declining mortality.
At the meeting, senior doctors from private hospitals also shared their experiences and challenges about their battle against COVID-19.
Concerns about the delayed referral of patients from smaller facilities and financial stress owing to the lack of health insurance were also discussed. The conclave was attended by more than 150 hospital representatives, senior doctors and clinicians from across the country, the ministry said.
ICMR Director General Prof Balram Bhargava, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal, FICCI President and Apollo Hospitals Enterprises JMD Dr Sangita Reddy, Chair, FICCI Health Services Committee and Chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals Dr Alok Roy were also present at the meeting.