In a novel attempt, Government hospitals in six districts of the Meerut division will be equipped with a video calling facility for the families of critical Covid 19 patients getting treatment in intensive care units (ICUs).

This initiative would be helpful for the family members of the Covid 19 patients who are undergoing treatment in ICUs as they could now see the actual condition of their patient through video call. The facility would benefit the families of such patients in Government hospitals in all six districts of Meerut Division viz Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Baghpat and Meerut.

This in fact was the demand of Covid patients’ family members for some time. As a matter of fact, once admitted to the hospital, the family members cannot interact with their near and dear ones and are totally dependent on the feedback given to them by hospital staff. Through video calling at least they would be able to see for themselves the progress in the treatment of their patients and their actual condition.

Divisional commissioner of Meerut division Surendra Singh informed that the video calling facility would be soon started in Government hospitals of all districts of Meerut Division.

“Under corporate social responsibility ( CSR) we have received about 40 phones from different companies that would be used for video calling,” said the Divisional Commissioner adding that these phones would be given to different Government hospitals after activation so that they could be used for video calls between patients and their families. But the facility would only be for patients in ICU in view of their critical condition. Also, it would be compulsory for the hospital staff to arrange for the video call, he added.

This would enable the families to know about the condition of their patients in critical condition, he said adding that it would be comforting to both the family members as well as the patient.

The hospital staff treating Covid 19 patients get lots of calls from people inquiring about the health of their family members admitted there for treatment. Some even insist on video calling which, however, is not possible for them to arrange. With these phones now staff would manage to arrange for video calling between the patient and his family and the latter would get authentic feedback.

It may be recalled that last week, the daughter of Covid 19 patient Santosh Kumar (65), admitted to LLRM Medical College of Meerut had approached with a complaint that her father is missing from the hospital. Later it was found that her father who was admitted on April 21 had passed away the next day and cremated as an unclaimed body while his daughter was given feedback about his recovery till May 3. This happened because another patient of the same name was also admitted to the hospital at the same time and hence led to confusion. The daughter raised the issue when the hospital staff said to her on May 4 that there is no one in the hospital named Santosh Kumar.

Incidents such as this could definitely be averted once the video calling facility is started, opined Dr Anil Nausaran, former Secretary, Indian Medical Association, Meerut. He said that the hospital staff presently are working under tremendous pressure which at times leads to such a situation due to human error which otherwise should not have taken place. On the contrary, the family members go through a tough time when their dear ones are admitted to a hospital in critical condition and they cannot even see them. The video call facility would give them a better idea about the well being of their patient, claimed Dr Nausaran.