Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government, on 4 September, announced that it will fill vacant medical posts in 10 days, while also claiming that the state has been spending Rs. 10.18 crore per day on COVID-19 care.

During a review meeting held here on Friday, officials informed Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy that the process to recruit 30,887 personnel in the health department will be completed in 10 days. So far, 21,673 posts have been filled on a contract basis and of the 9,971 regular vacancies, 4,676 have been filled and process is underway to fill the remaining 5,295 posts.

The state government has been spending Rs. 10.18 crore per day on COVID-19 care of which Rs. 4.3 crore is on conducting tests, Rs. 1.31 crore on food for patients, and Rs. 4.57 crore on medicines. The officials also said that the state has 138 COVID care hospitals with 37,441 beds of which 2,462 general beds, 11,177 oxygen-supported beds, and 2,651 ICU beds are vacant and available as on Friday.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to set up help desks with ‘Arogya Mitras’ at every Aarogyasri network hospital and said help desks should also be available at every impanelled hospital. The implementation of the Aarogyasri scheme in network hospitals should be regularly monitored, Jagan said, adding that severe action will be taken against any hospital flouting the norms. The Arogya Mitras should have a clear understanding of the protocols and should check whether Aarogya Asara (recuperation allowance) is being provided to patients getting treatment under the Aarogyasri scheme. They should collect regular feedback on medical services being provided to COVID-19 patients and submit a report, the CM said.

Jagan said that new medical colleges would strengthen the health system in the state and directed officials to take immediate steps to construct medical colleges and also to focus on the construction of urban health centers. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to start rating hospitals on the basis of feedback from patients on food, sanitation, infrastructure, and services. Feedback should be taken from Aarogyasri network hospitals and any discrepancy should be rectified immediately, he said.

The Chief Minister also directed the officials to make mock calls to call centers every day to check their work and record their response. He directed the officials to intensify the campaign to create awareness among people so that they know who to call if they test positive for COVID-19.

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