KGMOA expressed apprehensions that unless the health human resource situation is managed well, the State, with close to 4.5 lakh active cases, could soon face a crisis.
Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association has flagged the issue of acute shortage of human resources in health sector, which is posing a huge challenge to the health system’s efforts to provide proper care to patients, at a time when COVID-19 transmission remains high in the State and hospitals are filled to capacity.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, KGMOA urged the CM to appoint more healthcare workers, including doctors, from primary health centre upwards as the health system has taken on the arduous task of caring for the burgeoning number of COVID patients as well as non-COVID emergencies at the same time.
Most of the healthcare workers are suffering from pandemic fatigue and are living with various stress disorders and physical problems. Vaccine breakthrough infections have been rampant amongst healthcare workers in recent times in the second wave. KGMOA expressed apprehensions that unless the health human resource situation is managed well, the State, with close to 4.5 lakh active cases, could soon face a crisis.
In order to optimise the use of available human resources, tele-consultation should be offered in all domiciliary care centres and step-down CFLTCs, rather than post doctors. The running of these centres, including staff recruitment, should be fully under the control of the respective local bodies. Rather than opening more care centres, bed strength should be increased wherever possible, KGMOA suggested.
With the number of COVID patients in the State going up at an alarming rate, KGMOA has suggested the setting up of 24-hour call centres, to monitor and follow up patients on home care by utilising the service of retired doctors
It has also suggested utilising the services of those doctors in Health Service who have just completed their medical PG studies and are due to re-join Health Service.
The doctors have also demanded the creation of clear admission referral protocols for admission to COVID hospitals and second line treatment centres. The beds in these hospitals should be reserved for moderate COVID patients.
Vaccination of those in the 18-45 years group should be taken up as soon as possible, by prioritising the vaccine for the vulnerable amongst this age group. KGMOA also demanded that the spouses and children of healthcare workers be included in the priority list as they are at high risk of contracting infection.
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