The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has quickly spread to various countries. As of May 8th, 2020, in India 56342 positive cases of corona had been reported. India with a population of more than 1.35 billion had difficulty in controlling the transmission of coronavirus among its population. Multiple strategies became necessary to handle this outbreak. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India raised awareness about this outbreak and to take all necessary actions to control the spread of COVID -19. Indian Government implemented a 55-day lockdown throughout the country to reduce the transmission of the virus. Schools and colleges had shifted to alternative modes of teaching-learning-evaluation and certification. Online mode became popular during these days. India was not prepared for a sudden onslaught of such a crisis due to limited infrastructure in terms of human resources, money and other facilities needed for taking care of this situation. This disease did not spare anybody irrespective of caste, creed, religion on one hand and ‘have and have not’ on the other. Deficiencies in hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, hospital staff and crematorium were the most crucial aspects. You are a hospital administrator in a public hospital at the time when coronavirus had attacked a large number of people and patients were pouring into the hospital day in and day out.

a) What are your criteria and justification for putting your clinical and non-clinical staff to attend to the patients knowing fully well that it is a highly infectious disease and resources and infrastructure are limited?

b) If yours is a private hospital, whether your jurisdiction and decision would remain the same as that of a public hospital?

(Answer in 250 words)

a) As a hospital administrator in a public hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is my responsibility to prioritize the safety and well-being of both my clinical and non-clinical staff as well as the patients being treated in the hospital. In order to make decisions about how to allocate staff and resources, I would consider a number of factors.

First and foremost, it is essential to prioritize the safety of my staff by ensuring that they have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and gowns, and by implementing strict infection control protocols. This will help to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to my staff and to the patients they are treating.

In terms of prioritizing patients, I would consider the severity of their condition, their likelihood of survival, and the availability of resources such as beds, oxygen, and ventilators. For example, patients with severe symptoms or those who are critically ill would be prioritized over those with milder symptoms or who have a better prognosis.

b) If I were the administrator of a private hospital, my jurisdiction and decision-making would still be guided by ethical principles, such as the duty to provide care to patients in need and the duty to protect the safety and well-being of my staff. However, the financial considerations and business interests of the private hospital may also play a role in my decision-making, which may not be a factor in a public hospital.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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