“It is time for public & private sectors to come together and work as an alliance in the spirit of collaboration and co-ordination for collective efforts towards COVID-19 management”, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan as he chaired the high level meeting with owners and heads of private hospitals of Delhi-NCR, here today. Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) were also present at the meeting.
A presentation was made about the current situation and ongoing activities of the COVID-19 management in the country. After the presentation, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that with the collective efforts of the Central Ministries and States/UTs, ample timely precautionary measures have been taken. He also said that States continue to be on high alert regarding prevention, community surveillance and effective hospital management. The Union Health Minister stated that it is during times like these, when the public and private sector can form an alliance and work towards shared goals in public interest pooling in collective resources, and building on the strengths of each other.
Dr Harsh Vardhan led discussion of several issues which included preparedness in terms of bed capacity of hospitals for infected cases, isolation wards, protocols for sample collection and testing, protocols for outdoor patients etc. It was discussed to create a pool of beds in the private hospitals, and NITI Aayog would support MoHFW and private hospitals in doing so, such that the data for availability along with the requisite trained manpower is known. Collaboration on sample collection and testing was also discussed, wherein Secretary (HFW) stated that 35 labs have been identified across the country, number of which will be increased to more than 100 in coming days. The hospitals informed that they have taken up various outreach activities for enhancing awareness among their hospital staff. They also volunteered to enhance awareness among the communities through their own efforts as well. It was also discussed that common communication in terms of management of COVID-19 should be maintained.
Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that it was important for people to access authentic and credible sources of information. Towards this end, he has enlisted the twitter handles that are providing such information in his tweet today.
The private hospitals collectively applauded the efforts of the Government, especially the immediate systematic management response to the entire situation since January 17th, this year. They promised their support to the Government and looked forward to working together for the country.
Besides senior officials of MoHFW, owners and heads of various private hospitals i.e. Medanta, Apollo Hospitals, Max Hospitals, Fortis Hospitals, Cygnus Healthcare, Artemis Hospitals, Asian Hospital (Faridabad), Metro Hospital, Paras Hospital, Sarvodaya Hospital, VPS Healthcare, Nayati Hospital, FICCI and IMA, were present at the meeting.