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Delhi High Court stresses on need to ramp up doctor teleconsultations

Line hunting is the method of distributing phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several phone lines.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 7, 2021 10:46:12 pm
delhi high court, Delhi government, covid-19 cases in Delhi, Delhi coronavirus cases, delhi news, indian expressThe court also said the same doctor should be assigned to the patient on each call. (Source- Getty images)

The Delhi High Court on Friday told the Delhi government that 50-100 hunting lines are too few for the centralised teleconsultation service being made available by it for Covid-19 patients.

Line hunting is the method of distributing phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several phone lines.

“Even 100 is less. If 100 people are calling at the same time, the person at 101 would have to wait; that is what it means,” said the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, adding that every patient would take some 5-10 minutes on an average.

The court also said the same doctor should be assigned to the patient on each call. The government said it would work towards removing bottlenecks to address the concerns expressed by the court.

The Delhi government earlier told the court that teleconsultation services have been started for Covid patients in all 11 districts on all days through an official team of 44 doctors specially dedicated for the purpose, and linked through centralised helpline number 1031 and other control rooms.

It also told the court other in-service doctors, including those in home quarantine, would be included to ramp up the tele consultation service. The number of doctors would be raised to at least 532, the state said.

It also said retired doctors would be hired for the purpose and a request has also been made to Delhi Medical Association and Delhi Medical Council for the same.

The court on Friday also suggested that the government can consider providing basic medication, oximeters, thermometers, steamers through the public distribution system to Covid positive persons who are under the poverty line, senior citizens living alone, and those with any disability.

“What is the experience as of now because of the sheer number, this is not happening. You need to take steps,” said the bench, while referring to checking in on those recuperating at their homes.

It also directed the government to revisit the order passed last year on capping the prices for Covid-related treatment by private hospitals. The bench also asked authorities to relook restrictions imposed on e-commerce services since medical equipment is not getting delivered. “That also has to be treated as an essential commodity,” the court added.

‘40 PSA plants ordered’

The Delhi government on Friday told the court that 40 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants have been ordered by the state, most of which are funded by different donors. The court was told that out of the other eight PSA plants funded by the PMCARES fund, four have been made operational so far and technical difficulties are being faced in completing the work of others.

The 40 PSA plants have a total capacity of 43 MTs and the authorities are in the process of currently installing five plants at different hospitals, the court was told. “There are many others in the pipeline and negotiations are on,” Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, told the court.

The Delhi government also informed the court that Indira Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in Dwarka’s Sector 9 will be made operational by Friday evening, subject to availability of oxygen.

The court directed the government to file a status report by Monday regarding the number of Covid beds to be made available there.

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