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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Sunday assured private hospitals partnering the state in the fight against COVID of all possible help from the government to address their concerns, including availability of drugs and consumable such as PPE kits, as well as disposal of bio-medical waste generated at their facilities.

The Chief Secretary gave the assurance during a Video Conference (VC) interaction with all the private hospitals that are working as equal partners with the state government in treating COVID cases in the 22 districts of the state.

Representatives of more than 100 private health facilities assured the state government of their full support in combatting the pandemic and offered to add as many beds as may be needed for the care of COVID patients in the state in order to save lives.

While urging the private hospitals to intensify their efforts to support the people of the state amid spiraling cases of COVID, which was necessitating increased hospitalisation, Vini asked them to use the present crisis as an opportunity to earn public goodwill and not for profiteering. She also urged the hospitals to reach out to the families of the patients and try reduce the trauma and stress being faced by them.

More than 100 participants from private facilities across the state joined the interaction, which was attended by Health Advisor to the State, Dr. K K Talwar, and PS to CM Tejveer Singh, along with officials from the Departments of Health and MER and senior officers from the district administration and civil surgeons.

The meeting was informed that more than 180 private hospitals have come forward in the fight against the pandemic, and have already offered over 2300 beds for Level 2 and over 900 beds for Level 3 treatment of COVID patients. The state government has given around 100 ventilators to the private hospitals free of charge to support their efforts, said Vini, adding that the Punjab government recognises the support being given by the private hospitals in these critical times.

The private hospitals were given the opportunity to share their feedback regarding any issues faced by them and any support they might require from the government. Representatives from various private hospitals shared their feedback and concerns on various issues ranging from clinical management of the disease to availability of drugs and consumables like PPEs and bio-medical waste being generated in these facilities and their disposal.

The Chief Secretary assured the private hospitals that the government was fully aware of the problems being faced by them and was committed towards making all possible efforts to ease their problems. She also asked the hospitals to spread the word about the good work being done by them through local and social media.

Addressing the participants, Dr Talwar said that an expert group of doctors from PGI, AIIMS and from abroad (USA/UK), were supporting the state for clinical management of the patients. He said the group meets on every Saturday and invited treating doctors from private hospitals to attend these sessions to share their experiences and learn the best practices of others in the fraternity.

Dr. Talwar also asked the representatives from hospitals having Level 2 facilities to join the “specialist sessions” on Thursdays and share their success stories/best practices which would help in publishing Punjab’s holistic response to the pandemic.

Participants representing the private hospitals congratulated the government and the Chief Secretary for reaching out to them, and expressed their enthusiasm in being a part of the state’s fight against the pandemic as equal partners with the government.

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