The COVID-19 crisis in Nagpur seems to be spiraling out of control. Nagpur district alone accounts for nearly 56% of cases in the entire Vidarbha region and 65% of deaths due to Covid-19.
With the situation turning scary, doctors who are treating COVID, as well as non-COVID patients in the district, have some observations and possible solutions on the current situation. TOI spoke to leading doctors in the city to know about the crisis and its solutions.
Doctors blamed poor implementation of the SOPs released by the central government in the city/district and state at large. Government facilities don’t have health care professionals, and recruitment drives by authorities have failed poorly. Irresponsible behavior by people is also a major reason behind the uncontrolled spread of infection.
“No authority would be able to provide health care backups if people remain irresponsible and careless,” said Dr. Anup Marar, director of Orange City Hospital and Research Institute (OCHRI) adding that strict enforcement sanitization guidelines must be done.
“Government should give total liberty to all doctors for treating incoming COVID patients. Monopoly, penal actions, terror games, and stringent notifications by non-medical authorities have put the medical fraternity in defensive which is detrimental and against public health interests,” he added.
Many COVID Care Centres (CCCs) are lying unused and NMC hospitals can’t admit patients as they don’t have doctors and health care, workers. Now, they have started recruitment drives but these efforts are also likely to get a poor response like previous drives.
“The advertisement by authorities mentions that the recruitment is temporarily for the COVID crisis period of some three months. The government should at least recruit health care providers for a year or two,” said Dr. Vinky Rughwani, vice-president of Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC).
“Authorities are trying to attract staff from private hospitals to work in government facilities. This will result in a crisis at private hospitals and our bed capacity will fall. Ultimately, people will not get services,” said Dr. Sameer Paltewar, director of Meditrina Institute.
According to doctors most advanced facilities, infrastructure is useless if there is no manpower and proper planning.
“Dynamic COVID dashboards, and centralized bed allotment system is in place but not in use in Nagpur. Such dashboards must be updated on a real-time basis,” said Dr. Rughwani.
“Instead of asking hospitals to turn themselves into dedicated COVID center, authorities need to use COVID Care Centers (CCCs), most of which are lying vacant and unattended,” said Dr. Paltewar adding that the ‘no listen attitude’ of the government is not allowing doctors to work properly.
Doctors also criticized the proposal of Mumbai specialist teams which suggested that IAS officers should manage the hospitals and doctors should concentrate only on the treatment part. “Government Babus hardly have medical knowledge and understand the nuances of the profession. Doctors should be a part of the decision-making process,” said Dr. Rajesh Swarnkar of Getwell Hospital.
More testing is the key to the fight against Covid-19. For this, more labs in the private sector should get a license to conduct RT-PCR tests. “As per government policy, all private hospitals are seeking RT-PCR tests before surgery of all patients. In Nagpur, only two private-sector labs are having an RT-PCR test, and one lab with Tru-Nat test facility. They have a fixed number of tests possible per day. There are thousands of non-COVID patients say, heart, brain, cancer, TB, kidney disease along with infections, accidents, etc who need admission and are suffering due to delay in treatment. More private labs are a must for such patients,” said Dr. Prashant Onkar.
(With inputs from TimesOfIndia)