“Patient data and feedback will help the government improve health services in the state” | India News

Arguing that patient satisfaction was the sole target of the state departments of health and medical education, Deputy Chief Minister, UP, Brajesh Pathak – who also holds the health portfolio – said the daily interaction with patients creates a lot of data that will now be used to improve the health system and disease prevention. He spoke to Shailvee Sharda on various health sector issues in UP. Excerpts:
You launched a unique patient interaction and feedback campaign. What are some of the learnings?
The biggest advantage is that it doesn’t take much to make sure people are happy. The interaction also gives insight into the type of problems they face. The availability of rabies vaccine, anti-snake venom and a sufficient stock of essential drugs can solve most problems. The patient interaction initiative will ensure effective monitoring of all three elements. We also noted that referral protocol is not followed between CHCs and district hospitals. In fact, after positive indications, the government is now extending the service to medical schools and CMOs. We share our lists daily to eliminate duplicate patients and attendants contacted.
What did daily monitoring of wards in public hospitals indicate?
It is well known that numbers are power. So far, no effort has been made to speak in terms of numbers. Estimates were the basis of the discussion instead of actual numbers. Now we can say with force that an average of 1.6 million patients are cared for in our hospitals. Of these, about 12,000 are accidents, including road accidents, falls, burns. Around 8,000 patients have complications related to non-communicable diseases, while 5,000 need to undergo surgery. More than 60% of these patients suffer from common illnesses, including seasonal infections and cases of influenza. This will help us plan better.
Examples abound that patients are often forced to commute between centres, even in an emergency. What is the government doing to address this problem?
I have to admit it’s sad, but true. However, I can assure that this model will become a thing of the past once the Integrated Emergency Management System is rolled out. Within this framework, the cities will have a centralized system to check the availability of beds. Thus, if a patient cannot be taken care of at the KGMU, the authorities will be able to know where a bed is available, and then direct them accordingly.
The government recently changed the rules on the expiry dates of medicines purchased by the medical supply company. What led to the decision?
During a surprise inspection of the Medical Supplies Corporation warehouse, we discovered that drugs worth more than Rs 15 crore had expired. Digging deeper, we found a loophole in the rules. Subsequently, the department required that drugs supplied to public hospitals had at least 75% of their shelf life at the time of supply. Another reason for wastage was the responsibility of districts to pick up their allocated stock. To put an end to the procrastination caused by this, the liability of the company was fixed.
The transfer of doctors this season has caused a lot of controversy. Your comments.
Doctors are the backbone of the whole department. Period. The controversy was unfortunate but was handled in an exemplary manner by the government. Wrongfully made transfers have been reversed and action has been taken against those responsible. The system is also being reviewed to ensure there is no duplication.
What new services and facilities can residents of the state expect?
There is data that proves that there is a high demand for dialysis. Before 2017, the service was only available in a few centers. In Yogi 1.0, the service has been extended to over 50 districts, making it available in 63. The remaining 12 districts will also have it soon. Steps are being taken to reduce the waiting list for kidney transplantation to SGPGI, Lucknow, to not more than 15 days. A CT scan service will also be made available in all 75 districts.
Where are recruitments compared to vacancies in the health sector?
In some categories the recruitment process is at an advanced stage, while in others it has been launched. We will have additional manpower sooner rather than later. In addition, we will have support staff before the doctors.

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