Union Cabinet approves Rs23,123 cr covid-19 emergency response program
During a damage control exercise, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on the first day of his taking over from the nodal pandemic ministry, said this financial package is aimed at preventing a repeated episode of the second wave of covid-19, when coronavirus patients struggled for hospital beds, medical oxygen, and drugs.
While addressing the cabinet briefing, Mandaviya, admitting the shortcomings of the health system during the second deadly wave, said the new program aims to accelerate the readiness of the health system for immediate responsiveness for prevention, early detection and management, with emphasis on the development of health infrastructure, including for pediatric care and with measurable results.
“With a focus on immediate needs for the next nine months of fiscal year 2021-22, to provide support to hospitals and central government agencies and state governments / UTs to scale up their existing response to Wave 2 and the evolution of the pandemic, including at district and sub-district levels in peripheral settlements, ”Mandaviya said.
In March 2020, during the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a central sector program of Rs. 15,000 crore for the “Emergency response and health systems preparedness package in India covid-19 ‘for strengthening the activities of the center and the state government. Phase II of the package announced today includes core sector components and centrally sponsored programs.
Under the central sector components, support would be provided to central hospitals, AIIMS and other institutions of national importance under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, such as Safdarjung Hospital , RML and others to reallocate 6,688 beds for COVID management.
The government said the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) would be strengthened by providing genome sequencing machines, in addition to sanctioning the Scientific Control Room, Epidemic Intelligence Services (EIS) and support from the Secretariat of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
Support would be provided for the implementation of the hospital management information system (SGIS) in all district hospitals in the country (currently, it is only implemented in 310 DH). All district hospitals will implement HMIS through E-Hospital software developed by NIC and E-Shushrut software developed by CDAC.
“This will be the greatest impetus for the implementation of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) at the DH level. This support includes support provided to district hospitals to increase physical capacity, ”the government said in a statement.
“Support would also be provided to extend the national architecture of the eSanjeevani teleconsultation platform to provide up to 5 lakhs of teleconsultations per day against the current 50,000 teleconsultations per day. This includes support to States / UTs to enable teleconsultations with COVID patients in COVID care centers (CCCs) by strengthening hubs for eSanjeevani teleconsultation in all districts of the country, ”he said, adding that Support would also be provided for IT interventions, including strengthening the country’s covid-19 portal, 1,075 COVID hotlines and the COWIN platform.
With public health experts warning that the third wave could have the most impact on children, as part of CSS components, states / UTs would be supported to create pediatric units in all 736 districts and also, to establish a center of pediatric excellence in each state / UT, either in medical schools, state government. Hospitals or central hospitals such as AIIMS, INI, etc. to provide tele-ICU, mentoring and technical assistance services to district pediatric units.
The government said the efforts are aimed at building the capacity of districts and sub-districts for an effective and rapid response to the pandemic. “We need to prepare before an emergency arises. Nothing can be done immediately when needed, “said the trade union minister of health.
As part of the CSS component of the second phase of the financing package, there will be an increase of 20,000 intensive care beds in the public health system, of which 20% will be pediatric intensive care beds. The government said it will provide care closer to the community due to the entry of covid-19 into rural, peri-urban and tribal areas, creating prefabricated structures to add additional beds at community health centers. (CSC) existing. , primary health centers (PHC) and secondary health centers (CSS) (6 to 20 bed units) and support would also be provided to establish larger field hospitals (50 to 100 bed units) based on needs of level II or level III cities and headquarters.
During the second wave of covid-19, several patients died from lack of medical oxygen. To avoid such an emergency in the planned third wave, the financial package, there will be the installation of 1050 liquid medical oxygen storage tanks with medical gas pipeline system (MGPS), with the aim of supporting at least one such unit. by district.
The government further aims to increase the existing ambulance feet – 8,800 ambulances will be added as part of the package. In order to meet the demand for medical manpower, the government decided to hire undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees and final year nursing students MBBS, BSc and General Nursing and Midwifery ( GNM) for effective management of covid-19.
“As ‘Test, isolate and treat’ and monitoring appropriate COVID behavior at all times is the national strategy for effective covid-19, support will be provided to states to maintain at least 21.5 lakhs per day. Flexible support will also be provided to districts to meet essential drug needs for the management of covid-19, including the creation of a buffer stock, ”the government said.
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