JNIMS doctors raise posers over COVID-19 hospital plan

IMPHAL, 1st Jun: Doctors of state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) have appealed government to rethink the proposed/reported plan to convert JNIMS as COVID-19 dedicated hospital.
According to some JNIMS doctors, who preferred anonymity, COVID-19 management facility is divided into three levels. Schools, hotels, stadiums and both government and private lodges can be converted into treatment centre of the first level with asymptomatic and mild cases. AYUSH doctors under the supervision of allopathic doctors could be utilised as manpower for such centres.
Ambulances having BLS facility with oxygen support can be converted into dedicated COVID-19 health care centres for management of second level patients showing moderate symptoms and private hospitals could also be converted into such centres. For the management of third level patients having severe symptomatic cases, COVID-19 dedicated hospital having proper ICU and ventilator facilities is required. One block of a hospital or whole of the hospital could be converted into such centres, the doctors explained. They also said that there is no clarity on the government’s plan as it is yet to clear the whole of JNIMS or one block of the hospital is to be converted into COVID-19 dedicated hospital. A dedicated hospital for COVID-19 should have ICU, ventilator and oxygen-supported beds and JNIMS medicine block having 70-100 beds is currently utilised as COVID-19 ward. The block having seven ventilator-supported beds and 10 ICU beds is being utilised as COVID-19 care centre.
As JNIMS continues to provide treatment facilities to non-COVID-19 patients at its various clinical departments like medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, ENT and eye apart from operation for delivery, it would be akin to snatching rights of patients if the whole of the hospital is converted into COVID-19 dedicated hospital.
This will also affect haematology, nephrology and spine surgery facilities at the hospital and converting JNIMS as COVID-19 dedicated hospital will severely affect medical students and post graduate students, the doctors said adding that medical students need hospital for learning as their classes cannot be compared with other streams which could conduct classes online. Government also need to study and discuss what the MCI says about converting a medical institute/hospital into COVID-19 dedicated hospital, the doctors said.
The doctors, however, suggested that medicine block of JNIMS having 70-100 beds and ATC block which have separate entry and exit points could be converted into COVID-19 care centre.
Meanwhile, JNIMS Students’ Association strongly opposed government’s plan to convert the hospital as dedicated COVID-19 hospital.
In a written submission to JNIMS director, the association said huge manpower of the medical institute would be exposed to COVID-19 if government goes ahead with the plan to convert JNIMS as dedicated COVID-19 hospital. This will also jeopardise work experience of intern, JR and PG students apart from affecting academics of medical students, the association said adding that JNIMS is still life saving centre for non-COVID-19 patients.

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