The Union Health Ministry in collaboration with FICCI and AIIMS, New Delhi, organized a virtual conclave for private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment in the country. This provided a platform for discussion of clinical protocols and best practices in COVID-19 management towards reducing avoidable deaths.
While COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to the country’s healthcare systems, there have been proactive responses from the government as well as the private industry. The Conclave was organised to share the best practices and effective treatment modules being implemented by the public and private sector hospitals in the country. The Ministry also encouraged the hospital representatives to share their key concerns and challenges being faced while managing COVID-19 in their facilities.
Union Health Secretary inaugurated the virtual conference. He reiterated the resolve of the Government to ensure that patient of COVID-19 must not be denied beds and must be provided prompt treatment. The collective goal must be to have a health system that available, affordable and accessible to all. He highlighted that the aim of the Centre along with the State/ UT governments is to achieve a mortality rate of less than 1%.
The best practices included discussion of the tele-consultation sessions conducted by AIIMS, New Delhi through the e-ICU, Centers of Excellence (CoE) and Clinical Grand Rounds to enhance the clinical management capacities of the ICU doctors in various States/UTs. This, supplemented by various other focussed strategies of containment, prevention, early identification, has resulted in higher recoveries and steadily declining mortality.
During the meeting, the importance of timely treatment of comorbid patients to reduce fatality was stressed upon. Hospitals were encouraged to protect healthcare workers by adopting all practices on infection prevention and control and keep the staff motivated. Hospitals were also asked to ensure seamless admission of patients. The importance of evidence-based treatment protocols and reducing heterogeneity in treatment to COVID-19 patients was also underscored.
Senior doctors from private sector hospitals also shared their experiences and challenges about their battle against COVID-19. Several best practices were shared by the private hospitals, including regular monitoring of key metrics at the facility level and leveraging technology to support hospital staff in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Concerns around delayed referral of patients from smaller facilities and financial stress owing to lack of health insurance were also discussed. The Conclave was attended by more than 150 hospital representatives, senior doctors and clinicians from across the country.
Prof BalramBhargava, Director General, ICMR, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW, Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI and JMD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises,Dr Alok Roy, Chair, FICCI Health Services Committee and Chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals were also present.