“Sufferers are dying in ICU as a result of there are not any nurses and docs” goes to be the headline information after we handle the oxygen shortage. Primarily based on information from the primary Covid wave, positivity price ought to stay at 25-30% for the following 3-4 months. Every single day over 3 lakh individuals are testing constructive. Statistically, for each constructive affected person, there shall be at the very least 5 extra sufferers who’re constructive however not examined.
Meaning at the very least 15 lakh individuals are getting contaminated daily. Assuming that 5% of them might have ICU care, we shall be including about 75,000 ICU sufferers daily, who want to remain within the ICU for about ten days. Sadly, we solely have 75,000-95,000 ICU beds, which had been full even earlier than the pandemic reached the height. In the present day, our personal intensivists aren’t certain whether or not they’ll get a mattress in the identical ICU the place they’re working in the event that they get contaminated.
In contrast to the primary wave, ICUs right now are getting full of youthful sufferers. So a lot of the sufferers who die are going to be younger breadwinners of the household, with devastating social implications.
We have to add 5 lakh new ICU beds in a couple of days to stop this calamity. Any mattress with central oxygen in a authorities or non-public hospital may be transformed to an ICU mattress with a couple of equipment, which may be procured simply.
Sadly, beds don’t deal with sufferers. Docs, nurses and paramedics do. Properly earlier than Covid, scarcity of medical specialists in authorities hospitals was 76%. Many of the authorities hospitals’ ICUs are suboptimal and Covid sufferers find yourself in short-staffed non-public hospitals. Frontline staff who did an outstanding job in the course of the first wave are drained and exhausted. We want a couple of lakh younger, expert and vaccinated nurses, paramedics and docs to win the battle.
India is the one nation on the planet that may produce a couple of lakh younger Covid frontline staff in a couple of days, simply by altering the rules.
The best bottleneck in increasing ICUs is the scarcity of nurses. There are about 2.2 lakh nursing college students who completed GNM or BSc coaching, simply ready for the examination. The nursing and ICU serving paramedical college students ought to be exempted from showing for the examination to graduate and given choice for future authorities jobs, supplied they work in a Covid ICU for one 12 months. Most college students would like to take up this provide.
The second biggest hurdle is the supply of specialist docs. Over 25,000 younger docs are about to complete coaching in varied medical and surgical specialties. NBE or NMC ought to exempt them and those who failed in previous exams and provide a level in the event that they work in Covid ICU for one 12 months.
There are a couple of thousand medical specialists with diplomas in vital specialties like intensive care cardiology or emergency drugs who aren’t recognised by the Medical Council. If the NMC recognises these diplomas, we must always get 1000’s of motivated and expert medical specialists to handle Covid ICUs throughout the nation.
Over 1.3 lakh younger docs are sitting at residence memorising a number of alternative inquiries to safe a PG seat by means of NEET examination. Since there are solely 35,000 PG seats in medical topics, there shall be over a lakh docs who shall be unsuccessful in securing a PG seat. They are often supplied grace marks for the following NEET examination, supplied they work in a Covid ICU for one 12 months.
As well as, there are at the very least 20,000 docs who graduated from abroad universities and are unable to go the Indian entrance examination. They’ll practise as docs in different international locations besides their nation of beginning. These docs may be given medical council registration in trade for working in a Covid ICU.
All of the docs who I’m suggesting to be exempted from the ultimate examination are already certified docs with the flexibility to practise drugs. In the USA, postgraduate resident docs don’t must even seem for a closing examination. They’re recognised as board eligible and allowed to practise.
A Covid ICU is the worst place to work with PPE. We hardly ever encounter a scenario whereby we should be excited about our lives first earlier than saving the affected person’s life. No financial incentive could make one work within the Covid ICU for months collectively. We have to give younger nurses and docs a life-changing present to face the battle.
Let’s be sensible and settle for that no matter we’re doing presently contained in the hospital to extend ICU beds is just not working. That’s the rationale why right now non-public hospitals will not be offering ICU beds even for millionaires.
We belong to a tremendous nation that may remedy life-threatening challenges in outstanding style. We began the conflict towards Covid with nearly no PPEs and only a few ventilators. In a couple of weeks we produced sufficient PPEs and ventilators to grow to be a web exporter.
In the present day the complete nation is gasping for breath as a consequence of lack of oxygen. Because of the generosity of the industries and the federal government’s interventions, the oxygen scarcity will get solved shortly. We’ve a tiny window of alternative to handle the manpower disaster and forestall one of many biggest human tragedies.
We’ve little question that our authorities beneath the in a position management of PM Modi can convert any disaster into a chance to save lots of treasured lives.
The author is a cardiac surgeon and Chairman and Founder, Narayana Health