Steps to solve acute shortage of human resource in hospitals: Minister

4,971 temporary workers to be recruited

The Health department is moving swiftly to resolve the acute shortage of human resource in hospitals, precipitated by the intense transmission of COVID-19 amongst health-care workers, by taking in additional staff on temporary basis.

Health Minister Veena George said here on Tuesday that with a large number of health-care workers falling sick, the government would be issuing orders to recruit 4,971 temporary workers to be deployed ion hospitals wherever the shortage was acute. Preference would be given to those who were part of the COVID-19 brigade earlier.

In order to reduce the extent of nosocomial spread of COVID-19, hospitals had also been directed to put in place clear infection control protocols so that the chances of disease transmission amongst staff could be minimised. Accordingly crowding should be avoided at all costs in hospitals and a patient could not have more than one bystander, who should preferably be the same person during the entire period of hospitalisation, she said.

Control rooms in MCHs

Ms. George said that it had been decided to open control rooms in all medical college hospitals (MCH) in the State so that there was a two-way communication channel with the District Programme Management Support Units (DPMSU), which regulated hospital admissions. Though patients requiring admission were directly managed by the DPMSUs, there was also situation wherein Category A or mild patients, who required only home care and monitoring, went to medical college hospitals on their own. The control rooms in MCHs would help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, ensure back referrals from medical colleges to periphery hospitals or CFLTCs and thus streamline hospital admissions.

ICU occuppancy

Ms. George reiterated that only 42.7% of the ICUs and 14% of ventilators in the State were currently occupied by COVID and non-COVID patients. Hospital admissions, ICU/Ventilator occupancy was not rising alarmingly and only 0.7% of the active cases required oxygen beds.

She said that disease transmission was highest amongst the 20-30 years age group. As disease transmission intensified, it was not necessary that everyone should undergo testing. However, the Health department had not issued any orders to that effect.

The guidelines issued by the Centre had clarified that only those with symptoms needed to test. Also, primary contacts of positive persons need not go on quarantine. However, the person who tested positive should be kept in room isolation inside homes, she added.


The State, at this intense phase of disease transmission, was trying to complete the administration of the second dose of vaccine as fast as possible. So far, 84% of the eligible population in the State had been fully vaccinated. Vaccination of children in the 15-18 years age group, which had crossed 68%, also needed to be taken up at a faster pace. The Health department would join with the Education department to launch a special campaign to increase the vaccination coverage of children.

Ms. George said that a high-level meeting had been held to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the capital district, where hospital admissions had shown a rising trend. Similar discussion had been called in Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta, where also, hospitalisations seemed to be rising.

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