The CPI (M) has called for the conversion of schools and other available premises into mini-hospitals with beds to take care of the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
In a memorandum to the Lt. Governor, R. Rajangam, CPI(M) secretary, said though guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare specify that home isolation be recommended only for patients with mild symptoms, access to 24X7 medical care and adequate facilities at home, most patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Puducherry were being recommended home isolation because of the pressure on hospital resources.
“This is a public health crisis and the government needs to intervene immediately,” Mr. Rajangam said.
He urged the Lt. Governor to take necessary steps to make at least 2,000 beds, with medical observation, available for all patients and consider the possibility of converting available government buildings, including but not limited to schools, colleges, community halls and marriage halls, into COVID-19 care centres to overcome the shortage in beds with medical observation and necessary medical equipment, like medical oxygen, ventilators and IV stands.
The Health Ministry also issued guidelines for the recruitment of additional medical personnel by extending the employment period of resident doctors, availing supervised voluntary services of medical PG students, final-year MBBS and nursing students, expediting the recruitment of necessary medical personnel and giving due preference in the appointment of permanent medical personnel in the State/Union Territory government services.
However, the party said it had come to its notice that the Puducherry Health Department had about 1,000 vacancies for the posts of nurses, doctors and other health workers.
“We demand that the Lt. Governor immediately take necessary action to fill the vacant posts and recruit necessary medical personnel to provide effective and quality healthcare to the people of Puducherry,” the memorandum stated.
Harassment of patients
The memorandum added that in spite of the government instructing private healthcare facilities to provide Remdesivir to patients without reservation, it had come to the party’s notice that a few private healthcare facilities were continuing to harass patients by asking them to procure the injection on their own.
The CPI(M) wanted the Lt. Governor to immediately take steps to monitor and proactively prevent the harassment of patients during this critical period.