As cases rise, MCH under pressure

The Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, has started feeling the pinch of an apparent third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to sources, there has been an increase in the patients seeking admission in the past few days after the number of infected persons rose sharply owing to the Omicron variant of the virus. A doctor working there said that over 200 persons had approached the out-patient section of the general medicine department on Monday, 13 of whom were admitted. “Even during the second wave of the pandemic, we haven’t had more than 100 or 120 persons a day,” he said.

Only a couple of beds remain vacant in the wards, and five beds in the intensive care units.

Another doctor said that a majority of the patients admitted were in the ‘A’ or ‘B’ category, who were asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms. “The Government General Hospital is reportedly not taking in patients saying that they don’t have enough beds. No other government hospital in the periphery is available for treatment,” he said.

While some doctors said that more first-line treatment centres (FLTC) should be set up to handle infected persons with mild or moderate symptoms and those who were asymptomatic, some others said they could be accommodated even in facilities such as primary health centres. Some people were reportedly reluctant to go to second-line treatment centres set up at private hospitals such as Malabar Medical College Hospital and Research Centre and KMCT Medical College Hospital because the treatment is not fully free. “The referral system in government hospital should be streamlined. Only ‘C’ category people who are symptomatic and needing urgent medical attention should be taken to the MCH,” one of the doctors suggested.

Staff crunch

The hospital authorities are also facing severe staff crunch with no additional manpower added to the existing system. The COVID brigade of health professionals formed to tackle the pandemic has been disbanded. The nursing staff are the worst affected. The existing staff at the main hospital block were redeployed for the superspecialty block earlier. The staff required for the new building under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana were taken from among them again, said the sources.

Added to this is the phenomenon of a rising number of health professionals testing positive for the virus. The doctors are of the opinion that urgent measures and proper planning are required to avoid crumbling of the system.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 24, 2022 12:08:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/as-cases-rise-mch-under-pressure/article38288871.ece