BENGALURU: A government committee headed by Ajay Seth, managing director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, is looking at enhancing Karnataka's medical infrastructure and human resources in case the COVID-19 outbreak expands further in the state.
They have estimated that Bengaluru's private hospitals have 6000 beds including 4000 with oxygen supply and 600 ventilators.
Medical institutions have been divided into five categories -- small clinics and Primary Health Care centres, hospitals where COVID-19 patients who do not need critical care are placed, hospitals where COVID-19 patients needing ICU and ventilator care are placed, telemedicine facilities and private hospitals catering to non-COVID admissions.
"In a few weeks, if the situation worsens, we are working on ensuring enough beds, ventilators, hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedics in the state. We are working on a centralized telemedicine facility across the state for private doctors above 60 years. They can volunteer for certain timings where they must be 100% available to prevent people coming to the hospital. One telemedicine facility will cater to two districts as the illnesses wary based on geography," said Dr HM Prasanna, member of the committee and president elect of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Associations.
"We are also coming up with an algorithm based tele-medicine system using IVRS (Interactive Voice Response). Those who have symptoms and are worried about COVID-19 can call. They will have to respond to a questionnaire and if there is high suspicion of COVID-19, they will be referred to the hospital. A call attender will also be made available who can transfer it to a telemedicine doctor if they are not able to handle the case," he added.
As for mobilizing human resources, medicos who come forward to work with the government will be given training to tackle COVID-19. The data of around 80,000 doctors in Karnataka is being collated and they will be categorized based on their speciality and the workload they can handle should they come forward.
Seth was not available for comment.