HYDERABAD: Heralding a major shift in Telangana's COVID-treating strategy, all teaching hospitals in the State have been directed to retain non-critical COVID-19 patients within their hospitals and not refer them to Gandhi Hospital.
The State's Director of Medical Education (DME) K Ramesh Reddy issued these instructions after nearly 100 postgraduate doctors thronged the DME's office on Tuesday, demanding that non-COVID services be restarted in Gandhi Hospital and a cap be put on the number of coronavirus admissions.
This is an important shift in the strategy ahead of the second wave of COVID-19 that the TS Health Department is anticipating in January 2021. The new instructions also state that special COVID-19 isolation wards be set up for gynaecology cases in the hospitals and not be referred to Gandhi Hospital.
Only those critical cases needing tertiary care will be redirected to Gandhi, while majority should be referred to King Koti and TIMS, the instructions stated.
"Non-critical cases of COVID-19 should be treated at the respective hospital and should not be referred to Gandhi Hospital straight away and only critical cases in need of tertiary services be referred to Gandhi Hospital," the instruction read.
The instructions do not specifically state the removal of the 'nodal COVID-19 treating hospital' tag from Gandhi Hospital, a crucial demand since the last three months. However, King Koti Hospital and TIMS were mention as exclusive COVID-19 hospitals and if non-critical cases had to be referred it must be done to these hospitals.
Both TIMS and King Koti hospital, however, still lack some basic equipment for investigating the disease progression. With the announcement of these, the Telangana Junior Doctors Associat ion thanked the DME for agreeing to the demands and called off the strike.
"We have withdrawn the strike and also want to assure that the administration henceforth will take strict necessary measures to demarcate between COVID-19 wards and non- Covid wards to prevent crossinfection," said TJUDA president Dr Vasari Naveen.