Ministry of AYUSH to support States/ UTs in the development/ conversion of AYUSH hospitals to COVID appropriate facilities – This could add 50,000 beds, 750 AYUSH hospitals (presently AYUSH medical colleges), and 86 clinical facilities (at National Institutes and Research Units of Ministry of AYUSH) to the Covid- 19 infrastructure.
Continuing with the efforts to augment human resources for the management of COVID-19 cases, the Ministry issued advisory to deploy the trained AYUSH human resources available with them for clinical management of COVID-19 cases.
The decision to deploy AYUSH professionals to the frontlines of the COVID-19 war is in continuation of decisions taken a few days back to boost availability of medical personnel to fight COVID-19 such as postponement of the NEET-PG Exam, giving priority to medical personnel completing 100 days of Covid duties in forthcoming regular Government recruitments and deployment of medical interns in Covid Management duties under the supervision of their faculty.
AYUSH doctors are institutionally qualified professionals, well-trained in various aspects of medical care. They have already proven their competence in various COVID-19 management roles in different institutions across the country. Some of the institutions under the Ministry of AYUSH like the All-India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi which functions as a COVID -19 Care Centre, are efficiently managing Covid-19 cases at present. Further, States/UTs have trained nearly 1.06 lakh AYUSH professionals in different aspects of COVID-19 management, and 28,473 professionals have been deployed for COVID-19 activities. Training to AYUSH professionals in different aspects of COVID-19 management was also provided by the Ministry of AYUSH through the Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT) digital platform (https://igot.gov.in/), and 66045 AYUSH professionals completed the same. In addition, the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have jointly provided training to 33,000 AYUSH master trainers. Thus, a large number of AYUSH professionals have already been prepared through various efforts to take up frontline tasks in the fight against the pandemic. Details of about 8.32 Lakhs of AYUSH manpower have been compiled through the initiatives of the Ministry of AYUSH and provided on the Covid Warriors portal (covidwarriors.gov.in).
The following are the highlights of the advisory being issued:
I – FACILITATION/EXTENSION
- Considering the current situation in the wake of resurgence of COVID – 19, the State/UT Governments are advised to reach out to all qualified AYUSH practitioners and persuade them to join the Covid – 19 workforces in this hour of need. The services of these AYUSH doctors can be utilized in the management of COVID – 19 at appropriate levels. The deployment of AYUSH physicians, Post Graduate students and interns in clinical set ups for Covid management may be done under the supervision of medical doctors / specialists. Necessary prescriptions may be issued by medical doctors / specialists and clinical care to the patients will be provided by AYUSH doctors under supervision as mentioned as a part of the treating team. This mechanism will augment the available human resources for Covid management.
- AYUSH doctors, PG Students and interns may be deployed to manage e-Sanjivini digital platform (including local languages), where they will be able to guide people on AYUSH protocol for prevention, treatment and post covid rehabilitation from Covid. They will maintain proper records and will connect to Allopathic/AYUSH hospitals should the cases demand referrals.
- With deployment of different levels of AYUSH human resources, mobilization of AYUSH facilities to offer services as per approved protocol (https://main.AYUSH .gov.in/event/national-clinical-management-protocol-based-ayurveda-and-yoga-management-covid-19) can be immediately possible. Furthermore, the AYUSH facilities may also be used for Post Covid Care and Rehabilitation where visiting/on-call Allopathic doctors may provide post-discharge continuing treatment as required in these facilities.
- Ministry of AYUSH advises the States/UTs to offer AYUSH infrastructure (hospitals / facilities / centres / clinics etc.) for re-purposing into COVID Care centres/hospitals (alongwith nurse and other staff) in an effort to enhance health system capacity to face the ongoing wave. In this regard, information on AYUSH hospitals (50000+ beds, hospitals of 750+ AYUSH colleges, 86 clinical facilities of National Institutes and Research Councils under Ministry of AYUSH) as COVID appropriate facilities will be provided by MoA through a national portal.
- The State/UT Governments may deploy AYUSH Interns also in Covid Management duties under the supervision of their faculty. They may be deployed at Isolation and Quarantine facilities being managed by State Governments, Local bodies, NGO’s and private sector.
- The services of Final Year AYUSH students can be utilized for providing services like outreach activities, screening of suspected COVID -19 cases, testing and counselling after due training/ orientation by and supervision of Faculty. They may also be engaged to provide tele-counselling for home-cared cases as per national guidelines, as well as provide information on vaccination, covid appropriate behaviour, answering FAQs etc. through 24×7 helplines.
- The services of Final Year PG students may be utilised until fresh batches join. The All-India AYUSH PG Entrance has been postponed by National Testing Agency and intimation of date of examination after 31st August 2021 will be given by National Testing Agency at least one month in advance.
- Qualified Staff Nurses from the AYUSH side may be utilized in COVID -19 nursing duties at AYUSH based Covid facilities within infrastructure of AYUSH as mentioned above. They may be deployed in other Covid hospitals also if required under the supervision of medical doctors. Other nurses deployed by the AYUSH departments/colleges/institutions may be deployed at Covid facilities/hospitals under the State health and medical college departments.
- Ministry of AYUSH, in consultation with states, will coordinate further interactive training of AYUSH human resources as and when required for the suggested roles and responsibilities.
- The additional human resources thus mobilized may be used only in facilities managing COVID- 19 cases or for Post COVID Management and Rehabilitation.
II – HONORARIUM/ RECOGNITION OF SERVICE
- The above-mentioned guidelines aim to augment human resources available for responding to Covid-19 pandemic and can be fully availed by public and private institutions engaged in the effort. State Governments can make available additional AYUSH professionals engaged through this process to private COVID-19 hospitals as well in surge areas.
- A suitable honorarium for distinguished COVID -19 Service may be considered by the States/UTs for the specific assignment.
- The financial incentives/ remuneration shall be available only for those who work for at least 100 days for COVID-19 care.
- All such professionals who complete a minimum 100 days of COVID -19 duty will be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished COVID-19 National Service Samman from the Government of India.
- The AYUSH doctors, Post Graduate students, Interns, final year students and other human resource sought to be engaged in COVID related work will need to be suitably vaccinated.
- All such AYUSH professionals thus engaged will have to be covered under the Insurance scheme of Government for health workers engaged in fighting COVID 19.
- The Central Government recommends to State/UT Governments to consider giving preference in regular Government appointments of AYUSH professionals through the respective Public Service Commission / other recruitment bodies and contractual appointments for such AYUSH Professionals who complete a minimum of 100 days of COVID -19 related duty.
- The State / UT Governments may also expeditiously fill vacant posts of AYUSH doctors, nurses, other supportive staff in Health and Medical departments through accelerated processes as soon as possible and positively within 45 days through contractual appointments.