The Centre has asked the states and UTs to deploy the final year MBBS students, resident doctors, and nursing students to augment the human resources and particularly the healthcare workers amid rising Covid cases.
In two different guidelines issued to states and UTs on January 8 and 9, the Union Health Ministry has sought regarding the utilising the services of final-year MBBS students, interns, senior Re and junior Residents and the third and fourth year of B.Sc Nursing students, along with M.Sc first and second year nursing students.
The ministry has said that the active cases that needed hospitalisation care was 20 to 23 per cent during the second Covid surge. However, only 5 to 10 per cent of active cases need hospital administration presently, though, the situation is evolving and the need for hospitalization care can change dynamically, it said.
The states have been told to keep regular watch on the number of active cases, cases under home isolation, number of hospitalised cases, cases on oxygen beds, ICU beds and on ventilator support. Citing that human resources have limitations, the government has asked states to conserve healthcare workers by initiating staggering wherever possible and by restricting elective procedures in the hospitals.
The government has asked to earmark different categories of beds in private hospitals and to ensure that charges levied by them is reasonable. The states have been asked to upgrade the beds to oxygen-supported beds wherever possible at Covid Care Centres and to train community volunteers in basic care and management there. The Centre has also asked to engage retired medical professionals and MBBS students for provision of tele-consultation services.
It has also asked that hospitals be divided into three different zones of non-Covid areas, Covid area looking after patients with mild to moderate illness, and critical area like ICUs. In addition, a triage area needs to be developed in the emergency where patients with accute severe respiratory illness will be coming, said the ministry.