In a landmark initiative, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS) Trauma Centre is set to start a medical call centre — the first such facility in a government hospital in the country. The initiative is part of the Rs 70 crore healthcare upgrade for the Commonwealth games.
With more than 25 lakh participants expected to visit Delhi between September 23 and October 22, the government wants to ensure it can provide healthcare to all.
“Trained staff will manage telephonic coordination 24x7. The call centre will ensure seamless transfer of information and ensure no time is wasted in medical help reaching people,” said Dr MC Misra, Chief, AIIMS Trauma Centre. Eleven people will answer health queries, give first-aid tips for emergencies, fix appointments, register complaints and address redressals 24x7 at the call centre.
The hospital has outsourced the running of the call centre to the Noida based S M Telesys Ltd and training of the staff gets over this week. The number — 011-40401010 — will be launched next month and the service will cost the hospital an estimated Rs 1 lakh a month.
“We will increase lines and hire more people if the service catches on,” said Dr Deepak Aggarwal, associate professor of neurogery, AIIMS Trauma Centre, in-charge of the service.
Once the Games are over, the same number will be used to take calls from general public in need of trauma care.
“Simple life saving maneuvers can be directed over the phone till the victim is brought to the hospital. Call for ambulance and other assistance can also be addressed by the call-centre staff,” said Dr Misra.
To check the facility, the hospital tested the call-centre lines internally on March 1 — Holi day — when the hospital received more than 200 accident and injury cases.
“We didn’t take any external calls for the testing session because we wanted to ensure it worked perfectly. Now we are confident that it will run smoothly during the Commonwealth Games and even after it is over,” informed Dr Aggarwal.
New wards, more beds
The call facility is not the only new feature at the AIIMS trauma centre.
A 40-bed isolation ward is beings set up on the first floor of the building as part of the expansion plan for the Games.
The Rs 13-crore ward will have an operation theatre, 10 intensive care unit beds, 20 observation beds and general beds.
The ward meets bio-safety standards needed to treat patients who have undergone all kinds of trauma, including chemical, biological and radiological exposure.
“We are working in collaboration with national disaster management authorities to handle any such attack and have set up a decontamination facility in the isolation ward,” said Dr Misra.
The reception area of the ward will be separate, so that there is no mix-up of the games-related cases and the routine ones.
All doctors have undergone a two-year Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course that equips them to deal with trauma cases according to international standards. The two-day course has a fixed set of protocols to deal with accident cases.
“Doctors trained specifically for emergencies will be putting their skills to use during the Games. We are ready to handle any kind of eventuality. The Games are for two weeks, our facilities are here to stay for our people,” said Dr Misra.