Calcutta: Amit Jana (38) entered the General Hospital for Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata (ID&BG) on April 29 with a severe Covid infection after no private hospital could secure a bed. This was a first for him since the Patuli resident who runs a travel company had never sought medical treatment in a public hospital before.
Like Jana, many of those who had never entered a government hospital before the pandemic underwent intensive care at the state’s Covid Nodal Hospital. Back home, they all agree that there was no need to doubt the facilities and services of these public health institutes.
“My treatment at ID Hospital for almost two months changed my perception of public health establishments. From medical care to food to morale, I had it all in this hospital that brought me home, ”Jana said.
Even after his discharge on June 21, the hospital is in regular contact with him for check-ups.
Jana and her family had frantically called almost every major private hospital in town when her oxygen saturation kept dropping. With no vacancies there, a neighbor volunteered to check with Swasthya Bhawan, where officials asked Jana to be taken to Beliaghata Hospital.
When 56-year-old Anannya Chanda’s oxygen saturation started to drop, her family frantically called various private hospitals in Calcutta. Unable to find a bed in one of them, a neighbor contacted Swasthya Bhawan, who in turn requested that the patient be taken to ID Hospital. Chanda’s treatment lasted nearly two months, including long-term intensive care, and the patient’s daughter, Debankita, praised the facility.
The government hospital’s Covid facility was ready in September 2019, six months before Bengal got its first confirmed case on March 17, 2020. In preparation, the state had sent two hospital faculty members for a training within the framework of the WHO to learn how to manage Covid patients. Later, a host of other doctors joined the dedicated Covid team, including two infectious disease specialists who passed out from AIIMS.
“We also took care of patients transferred here from private establishments because they were unable to pay the bill. There was help from Swasthya Bhawan, a dedicated manager, doctors, nurses, technicians, boys from the ward and from the Covid Warriors Club, ”said Asis Manna, medical superintendent and deputy director.



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