Set up 24X7 help desk mandatorily: Odisha Govt to Covid hospitals

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today directed all Covid hospitals and Covid care centres to set up 24X7 help desk mandatorily with immediate effect. The decision has been taken after relatives of Covid patients lodged complaints alleging the Covid facilities in the State were not providing feedback on the status of the patients.

The government further stated the help desk must have a dedicated telephone preferably a toll-free number. The Covid facilities must intimate the Additional DMET Odisha about the toll-free help line number of the help desk

The toll-free numbers of all Covid-19 facilities shall be widely notified to the public. The help desk shall be manned with sufficient HR so as to attend all calls round the clock in shift manner, the government added.

The government suggested the Covid facilities to engage volunteer groups, NGOs and CSOs in the 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.

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

Also, the help desk team must help in increasing awareness about the necessary safety precautions and follow of Covid appropriate behaviour, amongst patients.

The NGOs can be asked to support in other activities at hospitals that facilitate the attendants grievance redressal and also help in their logistic requirements such as helping with discharge, liaising with cremation and burial grounds etc.

A dedicated conference room may be set up at the outside of the Covid-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/her.

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 a 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

The Authorized Medical Officer and the Authorized Person shall ensure the establishment of help desk within a weeks’ time and intimate the helpline number to the State Level Authorized Officer

The Government directed the Authorized Medical Officer and the Authorized Person to ensure the proper functioning of the help desk. In case of any complain regarding the non-response of the help desk to the query help needed over the telephone the they shall take necessary steps to respond the call immediately.

The Government warns of the Covid facilities of action in case the directive on the help desk is not adhered to.

“Further as the compliance of the 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,” a statement issued by the Health and Family Welfare department stated.

Earlier, the government directed private hospitals to reserve 50% of the total general bed and 80% of ICU in five municipal corporation areas for Covid patients. It asked private hospitals in other districts to reserve 10% of the total bed for Covid patients.

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