Odisha Govt brings more Transparency to Covid Care Centres; Check Details

Covid hospitals asked to set up 24x7 help desks in Odisha

TNI Bureau:  Odisha Government, on Sunday directed all COVID hospitals run by both the Government and Private organizations to set up Dedicated Help Desks so that the relatives of the patients can get health status of their relatives regularly.

The direction came in the wake of several relatives of the patients lodging complaints against COVID hospitals alleging that they are not getting any information about the treatment and health conditions of their near and dear ones admitted to COVID hospitals.

In a notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department said the Help Desk must have a dedicated telephone number, preferably a toll free number has been mandatory for all COVID hospitals. The Help Desk will function round the clock.

Further, the directions have also been issued to the private hospitals to reserve 50% of the total general bed and 80% of ICU in five Municipal Corporation area and 10% of the total bed in case of other districts.

Guidelines for establishing Dedicated Help Desks

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1. Each (Dedicated Covid Care Centers or Covid Hospitals) shall mandatorily establish a dedicated help desk to function 24 x 7.
2. The help desk must have a dedicated telephone preferably a toll free number.
3. The toll-free helpline number of the help desk must be intimated to the State Level Authorized Officer i.e. Additional DMET Odisha.
4. The toll-free numbers of all Covid-19 facilities shall be widely notified to the public.
5. The help desk shall be manned with sufficient HR so as to attend all calls round the clock in shift manner. In this context it may be considered for engaging Volunteer groups, NGOs and CSOs in Help Desks who can support in managing the patients being admitted in the hospital effectively and facilitate better interaction between hospital staff and patients’ attendants.
6. The help desk team shall also help in increasing awareness about the necessary safety precautions and follow of Covid appropriate behavior, amongst patients.
7. The NGOs can be asked to support in other activities at hospitals that facilitate the attendant grievance redressal and also help in their logistic requirements, such as helping with discharge, liaising with cremation and burial grounds etc.
8. The help desk apart from telephonic communication shall also use the social media like WhatsApp etc. to communicate the voice and pictures of the patient to the attendants of the patient.
9. A dedicated conference room may be set up at the outside of the Coved-19 facility with provision of TV and cameras which can be connected with CCTVs installed in the inside of facilities so that the attendant can see his patient and talk with him or her.
10. Steps shall be taken to collect and record the contact numbers of the patient at the time of admission and even if not enquired by the attendant of the patient general information of the condition of the patient shall be communicated as a SMS or WhatsApp message to the attendant of the patient every day at least once.
11. The Authorised Medical Officer and the Authorized Person shall ensure the establishment of help desk with in a weeks’ time and intimate the helpline number to the State Level Authorized Officer.
12. The AMO as well as AP shall also ensure the proper functioning of the help desk. In case of any complain regarding the non-response of the help desk to the query or help needed over the telephone the AMO or AP shall lake necessary steps to respond the call immediately.
13. For any violation of the above provisions and functioning of the help desk necessary action as deemed fit shall be initiated against the erring hospital. Further as the compliance of me help desk is directly related to the overall satisfaction of the patient as well as the attendants, noncompliance of the same shall be seriously viewed and shall be considered as negligence in duty for the patient and the payment of the hospital shall be withheld. Such matter shall be decided by the Technical Committee after receiving a written complaint from the appellant and approval of Government.

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