November 14, 2021 8:38:31 am
A month into her new role as Director Health Services, Chandigarh, Dr Suman Singh admits that she hasn’t had time to settle in, but was deep into action from the word go, as the health department after the second wave of Covid-19, was fighting dengue.
“This year the severity is very high, with two-three variants of dengue. Apart from dengue cases, we’ve had to take care of patients with viral fevers, with all beds occupied. To accommodate the rising number of patients, we opened all wards, so that each patient gets a bed, irrespective of where he\she is from, for I believe that hospitals have no geographical boundaries. Thankfully, with a fall in temperature, we are witnessing a fall in dengue cases and the last one week has seen less than 30 cases,” says Dr Singh.
Monitoring the platelet count, says Dr Singh, is paramount, and that’s why no symptoms must be ignored, and a patient must reach the hospital for a test and treatment without delay.
The second wave of Covid, adds Dr Singh, delayed some projects in GMSH-16, and on priority right now, is the digitisation of the hospital, creating an e-office and e-hospital.
“The idea is to enhance services for patients and make the entire hospital visit more convenient for them. We have 12 modules in the pipeline, and the first is that patients do not need to come to the hospital, stand in queue for getting their reports. With digitisation, the reports will be sent to their phone numbers or e-mail address. All departments, including radiodiagnosis, will be connected and this process will check to overcrowd and also save time,” adds Dr Singh.
As for the shortage of staff because of the NHM strike, and the suspension and dismissal of some contractual employees, Dr Singh says they are restructuring the role of staff nurses, ANMs and are managing, with some staff members who worked during the Covid second wave, also hired.
“Our Mother and Child Hospital will be a 500-bed hospital, but we need the present facility to be temporarily shifted so that we can start work for this new facility, as we don’t have space here to expand. So we are working on this aspect.”
A lack of a Covid testing laboratory was felt in the second wave, with samples sent to PGI which, adds Dr Singh, was also overburdened. Now, an area for a Covid testing lab has been earmarked and the process of purchasing equipment for RT-PCR testing is underway.
“No one can predict about the third wave, God willing we won’t face one, but we need to be prepared on every front, for the virus is so unpredictable. So apart from oxygen facilities, an adequate number of beds, testing facilities are important,” said Dr Singh.
She adds, “Also, to prevent another wave, it is important that people take both doses of vaccinetion, and maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour. In case someone for any reason has missed the second dose of vaccination, we with our records, reach out to the person through phone. Also, we know for a fact that those who were vaccinated, did not need
hospitalisation and deaths were also few.”
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