Millennium Post

State urges private hospitals to adopt hub-&-spoke model to combat Covid

Kolkata: The number of Covid cases in Bengal seems to be hitting new highs over the past few days. Looking at the trend, the state government is constantly coming up with new measures and initiatives to address the Coronavirus crisis.

State Health department officials have suggested to top private hospitals of the city, during a video conference on Friday, to rope in smaller nursing homes and act on a hub-and-spoke model in which the tertiary private hospitals treating Covid positive patients will monitor the day-to-day progress of light symptomatic or mild symptomatic patients who would be admitted there.

This is being done so that tertiary hospitals can provide more beds for serious patients.

"We are trying everything we can to increase the number of beds continuously. We are focusing on satellite health facilities in which light symptomatic or mild symptomatic positive patients can be treated

while the mother hospitals (private) can be used to provide treatment to COVID patients needing serious intervention," a senior official of the Health department said.

It may be mentioned that the state government has already taken several measures to combat COVID since the initial days of the outbreak. From setting up quality hospital infrastructure to treat Covid-19 patients; increasing testing laboratories that were only two in number in March to 52 currently; ramping up tertiary Covid hospitals to 80 (including 54 private hospitals and 26 government ones); raising the total number of ventilators in the Covid hospitals to 395; increasing ICU beds in these hospitals to 948, with the total number of beds at dedicated Covid hospitals amounting to almost 11,000, in which the occupancy rate is 27.02 percent.

The state government has also recently set up expert committees, which would visit different hospitals to take stock of the treatment facilities and also created 'safe houses' for mild positive patients.

Dr Alok Roy, Chairman, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, said: "We have already adopted a guesthouse with 52 beds a month back in a bid to increase the number of beds to treat Covid patients. All private hospitals should work towards increasing the number of beds. We will be very happy to coordinate with the state government regarding any measure suggested by them to expand treatment facilities."

The Annexe building at AMRI Hospital, Dhakuria, will have around 75 beds, including critical care beds, has been added on Friday and will be operational from Monday (July 13, 2020).

Rupak Barua, Group CEO, AMRI Hospitals, said: "We are also in talks with some hotels and guesthouses where satellite facilities can be set up to house patients who do not have provisions for self-isolation at their residences. We are also working on tying up with some smaller nursing homes and hospitals to act as similar facilities for mildly-symptomatic Covid positive patients. We believe options like satellite facilities and home isolation services will help in managing such patients better."

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