As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, the Gujarat government on Thursday said that it will need the assistance of 1,000 private doctors and 300 anaesthetists, if the situation “deteriorates further”.
“If the situation deteriorates in the state, then 1000 physicians connected with IMA which includes pulmonologists and 300 anaesthetist will be required in the state,” said Ashwini Kumar, Secretary to the Chief Minister, while addressing mediapersons in Gandhinagar.
Around 9,500 dedicated beds were available for COVID-19 patients in Gujarat and31 private and trust-run hospitals have already been roped in, he added.
“Today a meeting was held with top office bearers of IMA (Indian Medical Association) and private doctors under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The private doctors have shown interest in assisting the state government,” he said adding that doctors like Ketan Desai attended the meeting which was held through a video conference from the chief minister’s residence in Gandhinagar.
A committee will be formed at the state and district levels that will consist of private doctors connected with IMA. This committee will help in managing the available human resources, the official said.
“In the meeting the chief minister has also asked the doctors to keep their OPDs and private clinics open and if any patient has COVID-19 symptoms, they should refer the patient to the nearest government hospital,” he added.
Kumar said that the state government will take necessary steps to provide masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to private doctors and support staff.
Dr Mehul Shah, former vice-president of IMA Gujarat and a present member of the body, said that the IMA will approach the demand for medical professionals in a two-pronged way.
“One is, each district chapter of IMA Gujarat will form a steering committee, which will submit a list of physicians, anaesthetists or pulmonologists, based on the requirement and gap in that particular district. This will be submitted to the collector’s office. Expected time frame for drawing up this list is 24-48 hours. The second approach is, in districts which have not reported any case yet, a similar team of doctors will be constituted, wherein they may be redirected to nearby districts, if need arises. At this point of time, everyone (in IMA) is on-board and ready to offer their services, regardless of any other factor. We have been told that the state government is taking care of PPE procurement,” said Dr Shah.
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