The South Goa District Hospital began operating as the state’s third COVID-19 hospital from Saturday evening with the shifting of mild to moderate COVID positive patients, who were admitted at the ESI Hospital.
The hospital will currently accommodate 150 patients with plans for upgradation in the future.
On Saturday morning, doctors, nurses and medical staff held a drill on how the hospital will function and in the evening, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane held a final inspection of the facility following which the announcement commissioning the South Goa District Hospital was made.
Speaking to media persons after the inspection with doctors from the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), ESI Hospital, which has been designated as COVID hospital, and Hospicio Hospital, Rane provided the details.
“We will start the shifting of patients this evening. Seventy persons have been hired for the purpose of handling patients and will complement the existing staff at the hospital. As of today, there are 150 beds that are ready and are equally divided among the male and female wards. There are, however, many other works pending. We intend to upgrade the hospital over time and stabilise the entire functioning of the hospital and then go ahead with setting up of an ITU and a high dependence unit parallel to the ESI Hospital,” said Rane.
It was also informed that high flow oxygen machines and ventilators have been put in place along
with provisions for providing food to patients. “The spike in COVID cases will continue but our job is to provide the services. This hospital’s protocols will be strict and we will not be allowing any family members or relatives,” said Rane.
The shifting of patients as well as direct admission of COVID patients will follow a procedure, informed hospital nodal officer and GMC doctor Dr Sunanda Amonkar. “From today, we will start the hospital by admitting step-down patients from the ESI Hospital, who are patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Gradually, we will take in more patients. The total capacity is 150 and there will be direct admissions also. Any patients who come here will first be examined and if they are unstable, they will either be shifted to GMC or the ESI Hospital. There is a well-equipped casualty ward for this purpose,” she said.
Hospicio’s medical superintendent Dr Deepa Correia, who will also help in the functioning of the COVID hospital, said while there may be teething problems, they would be stabilised over time. “We hope the facility runs well with the entire team of doctors and staff from the directorate of health services, GMC and ESI. We will run the casualty department; since some facilities are new, we may have teething problems, but we will work on it. For this reason, we will start with the step-down patients from the ESI first and after that is streamlined, other issues will be taken up,” said Dr Correia.
Dean of GMC Dr Shivanand Bandekar said the protocol for shifting of patients has been discussed with the ESI doctors.
Even though the initial plan was to open the facility with a 250-bedded capacity, the facility will currently have only 150 beds. Rane, however, informed that work was already underway to set up an additional 200 beds in the days to come. He also informed that doctors, nurses and medical staff would be accommodated at the Colva Residency and another hotel in South Goa.