The much-anticipated intensive care units (ICU) at taluk hospitals in the district will start functioning within a fortnight. There was a demand from the public to establish ICUs at taluk hospitals. Though work of setting up of the units began in 2017, the process was deferred due to delay in procurement of equipment and other processes, said sources in the district health and family welfare department. The Siddaramaiah-led government had announced ICUs at all taluk hospitals. Work of establishing three-bed ICUs at Kundagol and Kalghatagi taluk hospital is already completed while work at Navalgund taluk hospital is yet to be completed. According to the data provided by the department, ICUs were established at the cost of Rs 90 lakh. Due to unavailability of ICUs, taluk hospitals used to send a major chunk of patients to the district hospital in Dharwad or KIMS Hospital in Hubballi.
District health officer Dr R M Doddamani said patients from rural areas have to go all the way to Dharwad or Hubballi seeking critical care. With ICUs at taluk hospitals, the patient can be treated there itself. These ICUs will have a telemedicine facility, which would be an added benefit for patients. Doctors at the taluk hospitals can seek specialists’ opinion and treatment for the patient with this facility, he added. Doddamani said staff and nurses of these hospitals are undergoing training on attending critical care patients. A centralized oxygen system, ventilators have been installed at the hospitals, he informed. Ramesh Jahagirdar, an activist from Kalghatagi, rued that hospitals in villages do not have critical care facilities. “The government had promised an ICU unit would be set up by January 2017,” he added. – TOI