Youth organisations write to CM Biren, urge caps on hospital fees, medical requirements
In a joint letter addressed to Manipur Chief Minister, seven youth organisations recommended various measures, including setting up of temporary hospitals.
As many as seven youth organisations in Manipur on Monday drew the attention of state Chief Minister N Biren Singh to the urgent need of taking various measures to effectively curb the spread of Covid-19 and the fatality rate in the state.
The organisations included Kihom, Girl Up Khonjel, Girl Up Manipur, Go Green Group, Mingsel Foundation, Paomi Post and Ya_All Northeast.
In a joint letter addressed to the chief minister, the organisations recommended various measures such as setting up temporary hospitals, increasing ICU beds, oxygens and ventilators facilities, 24x7 helpdesk for all hospitals, putting caps on hospital fees and medical requirements among others.
The organisations urged the government to make arrangements for vaccination sites to be located in open spaces wherever possible instead of closed rooms and buildings of hospitals and health centers.
"We also request the government to increase vaccination sites by utilising local volunteers in localities so that we can prevent overcrowding and speed up the vaccination drive," they added.
The organisations recommended the government to set up temporary hospitals by utilising hostels, rents and boarding schools which remain unused due to the pandemic. This will be beneficial in two ways as there will be more beds for patients in need and will get the necessary treatments done in time, thus preventing more deaths.
"There are many non-covid patients suffering from other comorbidities who need regular checkup and treatments. Segregating covid and non-covid patients not just in terms of wards and buildings in the same hospitals but in different hospitals and health centers will help save more lives. As most of the time, it is people with other comorbidities who are getting severely affected by the virus, ensuring tighter security from the virus is extremely necessary in hospitals where such patients come for regular treatments," the letter mentioned.
Pointing out that the most serious grievances many patients are facing right now is the non-availability of ICU beds, shortage of oxygen supply and ventilators, the organisations mounted pressure on the chief minister to procure and provide more ICU beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators to the hospitals at the earliest.
The letter further stated that the Kerala government has already imposed an order to cap the fees of private hospitals like bed charges and ICU charges among others and laid price restrictions on essential medicines.
"Taking the Kerala model as an example, it would be great if the Manipur Government imposes price caps on private hospitals and other medical requirements like oxygen cylinders especially the ones used in home isolation.
"With government hospitals leaving no empty beds, people have to rely on private hospitals which cost a fortune. The government, considering such dire situations, must cap the private hospital fees and other medical resources like prices of medicines, price rate of oxygen cylinders by private enterprises and RT-PCR testing among others,” the letter stated.
The letter also urged the chief minister to address the unavailability of ambulance services in time. It further stated that the government must ensure that all the government hospitals: RIMS, JNIMS and District Hospitals have a helpline that functions 24×7 so that the patient and/or their attendants can reach out to them and inquire about bed availability and other facilities easily instead of wasting precious time going to and from their home, hospitals and covid care centers.
“It has also come to our notice that the covid control rooms do not have updated contact numbers of government hospitals,” the organisations added.
Also, demanding special action by the government to help people with disabilities, the organisations suggested introducing a helpline especially for them and to bring in the reserved police forces to make up for lack of human resources in fighting the pandemic.
The letter maintained that the said youth organisations have been working to help patients get hospital beds, medicines and oxygen cylinders in time by coordinating with the concerned authorities at pharmacies, hospitals and health centres. It also assured cooperation in any way possible as citizens towards the measures taken up to fight the pandemic.