2021 GS4 Answer

Q. The coronavirus disease (CoVID-19) pandemic has quickly spread to various countries. As on May 8th, 2020, in India 56342 positive cases of corona had been reported.

India with a population of more than 1-35 billion had difficulty in controlling the transmission of coronavirus among its population. Multiple strategies became necessary to handle this outbreak. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India raised awareness about this outbreak and to take all necessary actions to control the spread of COVID-19. Indian Government implemented a 55-day lockdown throughout the country to reduce the transmission of the virus. Schools and colleges had shifted to alternative mode of teaching- learning-evaluation and certification. Online mode became popular during these days. India was not prepared fora sudden onslaught of such a crisis due to limited infrastructure in terms of human resource, money and other facilities needed for taking care of this situation. This disease did not spare anybody irrespective of caste, creed, religion on the one hand and have and have not’ on the other. Deficiencies in hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, hospital staff and crematorium were the most crucial aspects You are a hospital administrator in a public hospital at the time when coronavirus had attacked large number of people and patients were pouring into hospital day in and day out.

o What are your criteria and justification for putting your clinical and non-clinical staff to attend to the patients knowing fully well that it is highly infectious disease and resources and infrastructure are limited?
o If yours is a private hospital, whether your justification and decision would remain same as that of a public hospital?

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS4 Paper

Model Answer: 

Criteria and Justification for Putting Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff to Attend to Patients:

  • Adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): It is important to ensure that all clinical and non-clinical staff have access to adequate PPE, including gloves, masks, goggles, and gowns. This will help to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus from patients to staff and vice versa.
  • Proper Training and Education: It is essential to provide proper training and education to all staff regarding the transmission, prevention, and management of COVID-19. This will help to ensure that staff are aware of the risks and precautions to take while attending to patients.
  • Prioritization of High-Risk Patients: It is important to prioritize high-risk patients, such as those with underlying medical conditions or elderly patients, and allocate more resources and attention to them. This will help to minimize the risk of complications and mortality.
  • Allocation of Resources and Staff: It is crucial to allocate resources and staff efficiently and effectively, based on the severity and urgency of patients’ needs. This will help to ensure that resources and staff are utilized optimally and that patients receive timely and appropriate care.
  • Regular Screening and Testing: It is important to implement regular screening and testing protocols for all staff, including clinical and non-clinical, to identify and isolate infected individuals and prevent further transmission of the virus.

If the Hospital is Private, Would the Justification and Decision Remain the Same?

If the hospital is private, the justification and decision to put clinical and non-clinical staff to attend to patients would remain the same. The primary goal of healthcare, whether in a public or private hospital, is to provide timely and appropriate care to patients. During a pandemic, such as COVID-19, this goal becomes even more critical, as the number of patients requiring care can overwhelm the existing infrastructure and resources.

Therefore, it is essential for private hospitals to prioritize patient care and allocate resources and staff effectively and efficiently, based on patients’ needs. However, private hospitals may face additional challenges, such as financial constraints and lack of government support, which may require them to adopt innovative approaches and partnerships to manage the crisis effectively.

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