At a time when social media is filled with desperate cries seeking beds, oxygen and medicines from the kin of COVID-19 patients with little or no help from the authorities in other parts of the country, the State Health Department took a proactive step to launch a Unified Command Centre that would serve as a nodal centre for bed availability and oxygen requirements in private hospitals in Tamil Nadu. The centre would also help in monitoring government and private healthcare facilities.
UCC was set up at the office of the National Health Mission, Tamil Nadu, and would function in coordination with all other departments and directorates along with the 104 health helpline.
The bed availability and management portal for COVID patients would also be managed through the UCC. A statement from the department said the Centre would track dynamic vacancy status of COVID beds, oxygen beds and ICU beds, and would monitor the requirements of the public.
The UCC would monitor both government and private hospitals, especially the ones in Greater Chennai Corporation. It would provide support in increasing the bed capacity for COVID patients and ensure the availability of oxygen in government and private hospitals, the statement added.
A twitter handle, @104GoTN, has also been launched to track and coordinate requests for beds in the State and offer help through the platform based on availability.
Apart from this, the centre would also liaison with existing COVID related services such as the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, implementing the Clinical Establishment Act and the Public Health Act for enhanced efficiency and improved health outcomes, the statement added.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said the 104 helpline has already been functioning to help patients, while UCC would serve as a single platform to address the requirements of patients regarding beds, oxygen and ICU facilities in the State.