VIJAYAWADA: The Health and Family Welfare Department is planning to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) strictly in all services under it —right from taking a patient in an ambulance to treating him/her at a government hospital. Through the strict implementation SOPs, the officials said, the standards of government services in healthcare will be improved.
Speaking to TNIE, Karthikeya Misra, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Department, said, “Currently, SOPs are not being followed in letter and spirit. Strict implementation of SOPs in the health sector will improve the quality of services.” He said, explaining further, “For instance, no patient should be allowed to walk up to an ambulance even though they are able to do that. As per the SOP, the ambulance staffers should take the patient on a stretcher, in sitting or sleeping position, to the vehicle.”
In order to implement the SOP, the officials are planning to train the staff. The officials are also planning to impose fines on the staffers or agency if they deviate from SOP. A final decision will be taken based on the recommendations of the expert committee constituted by the State government for improving healthcare.
When TNIE contacted an ambulance attendant (108) Karthik (name changed), he said, “We are all trained in this field and know how to handle a patient. We cannot ruthlessly ask the patients to hop into the ambulance. We used do provide stretcher and follow the Standard Operating Procedures. Under the SOP, a patient has be tied up to the stretcher in the ambulance so that they stay safe. But in a few cases, like delivery, cardiac patients, we don’t do that because the patient may suffocate. We cannot stick to the SOP always and imposing fines for small violation is really a foolish move.”