Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday directed 80 private hospitals engaged in treating Covid-19 patients to convert 1,770 beds into oxygenated ones. He also directed the government-run Sassoon Ggeneral Hospital and jumbo facilities to maximise bed strength by September 30.
In a meeting with authorities of private hospitals including Bharati Hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic, Noble Hospital, Ratna Memorial Hospital, Joshi Hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, KEM Hospital and others, he also admitted that there was a concern about the lack of staff.
“We want to prepare ourselves as the Covid Care Centre beds are adequate… but what we need to gear up… are oxygen beds, ICU beds and ventilated beds – this issue needs to be addressed urgently,” Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of the state Technical Committee on Communicable Diseases, who was in the meeting, told The Indian Express. “We are anticipating a rise in Covid-19 cases and what we are trying to ensure is that no patient in need of critical care bed is denied a bed.”
The health minister, who held a series of meetings and visited Sassoon Hospital and the jumbo facility at COEP, also engaged in discussions with private hospitals. He said both private and government hospitals need to optimise their resources.
“There is no restriction from the government and we have encouraged Sassoon Hospital to aggressively hire consultants,” Tope told officials at the meeting, according to sources.
The minister also directed the Pune administration to appoint super-specialist doctors at the jumbo facility so that co-morbid patients can recive proper treatment and the facility can start all its operations at full capacity.
“A heart specialist, kidney specialist and other super-specialist doctors should be appointed at the jumbo facility for treatment of co-morbid patients. All the beds should be made available for treatment. It should be ensured that a senior doctor is on duty in the night to help reduce the mortality rate,” he said.
The health minister said there should be an independent squad for management of plasma collection, to meet emergency demand for critical patients. He also urged local residents to connect to government helplines for Covid-related issues.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal, who is in charge of the jumbo facility, said the PMC will soon start running the facility at its full capacity.
Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said both Sassoon General Hospital and jumbo facilities have been directed to make 850 beds and 1,600 beds operational by September 30, respectively.
‘Guidelines on consumption of medical oxygen for patients to be issued soon’
The demand for medical oxygen is rising and the Maharashtra government has no intention to restrict the volume of oxygen to be used for every patient, Health Minister Rajesh Tope tweeted on Monday. He appealed to all medical practitioners in both private and public sectors to avoid any wastage of medical oxygen. Tope also visited the liquid oxygen manufacturing plant at Chakan.
In a new order on September 21, Principal Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas has said that an expert group is meeting on policy/protocol on consumption of medical oxygen in Covid-19 patients in New Delhi, and guidelines are expected in a day or two. Each patient should receive oxygen in the manner and to the level as may be necessary for full and speedy recovery.
“`When we do planning and forecast the demand for oxygen, some assumptions are required to be made, these values were for that purpose,” Dr Vyas stated in the order issued on Monday. “Further, when we do consumption analysis, naturally consumption needs to be measured or compared against some normative values and these values, after discussion with experts, were mentioned. Since these are average indicative normative values, it is natural that in some cases actual use of medical oxygen would be more than these values and in some cases less than these values,” said Dr Vyas.
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