Pandemic prompts government to modernize healthcare facilities – Journal


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PESHAWAR: The Covid-19 epidemic prompted the government to modernize health facilities, especially intensive care services that were only available in a few hospitals before the pandemic hit the province.

The Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC), whose construction began in 2005 but was inaugurated to house patients with Covid-19, now treats heart patients.

“Before the province was affected by the virus, we had oxygen factories in four teaching hospitals. Now, there are 30 health establishments where the oxygen installation exists. For Covid-19, the health department has improved all the services, in particular the intensive care and high dependency units which are now used for the treatment of non-Covid-19 patients ”, Dr Ikramullah Khan, additional general manager of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Services, Dawn said.

He said there were now well-equipped intensive care units in Malakand, Dir Upper and Lower, Haripur, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Karak and Swat, where serious patients were being treated. He said such district-level developments had only happened because of the pandemic, but these services were helping local patients, who were previously taken to hospitals in Peshawar for treatment.

Dr Ikram said they had focused on providing oxygen to healthcare facilities due to more infections early on. “We supplied oxygen to hospitals from the main warehouse via cylinders,” he added.

The number of intensive care beds in the province has reached 6,000, up from just 1,000 before the virus arrived, as there was a desperate need to manage critically ill Covid-19 patients.

Likewise, the number of ventilators in the province has almost tripled as a result of which the treatment rate of critically ill patients has improved, he said. “When Covid-19 broke out, we only had 70 ventilators. The number is now over 500, ”he said.

“All of these facilities have been upgraded due to the pandemic, but they are now used for general patients. In more than 50 hospitals across the province, we have implemented infection control measures to protect healthcare professionals and patients from infection, ”said Dr. Ikram.

He said most of the staff were trained in infection control measures and looked after the hospitals where they worked. Likewise, Covid-19 has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the health department to develop testing facilities.

In early 2020, the public health reference laboratory at Khyber Medical University began Covid-19 testing by processing 40 samples per day, but within a short period of time the department had set up facilities for PCR Covid-19 in 13 hospitals to ensure suspicious patients are diagnosed. quickly.

Not only the public sector, but in the private sector, five Covid-19 labs have been cleared after inspection by the ministry to ensure people are getting tested all over the province.

Dr Ikram said the Peshawar Heart Institute was completed but not functional due to the lack of facilities there. “With the onset of the pandemic, we equipped the building to be used for coronavirus patients as the number of patients continued to increase,” he said. However, the number of patients has declined and no patient has been admitted, he added.

He said the PIC was finally inaugurated by the Prime Minister in December of last year, where heart patients were treated for free. The 295-bed PIC offers cardiac surgery for both pediatric and adult patients.

The same is true of the Institute of Hepatology, whose building was completed but was not made functional. It has been made functional to take care of Covid-19 patients. The institute will soon start providing basic services to patients with hepatitis.

Posted in Dawn, le 23 December 2021

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