The Punjab region is one of the most severely affected areas of the country considering the COVID-19 pandemic. The region also has the most number of veterans from the defence services whose age and exposure to crowded areas has made them more vulnerable to the virus and put them at a very high risk of contracting the infection.The Airawat division and Military Hospital Patiala along with the ECHS facilities have pledged to provide complete support to approximately 13,000 veterans of Patiala in combating the pandemic. While all facilities of vaccination, testing, treatment and intensive care are available at the military hospital the efficient management of the increased cases due to the surge was seen as a problem area. To address this concern and further enhance the capability of MH, a COVID Reception and Care Centre for Veterans has been established at the entrance of MH, Patiala .The Reception and Care Centre will be operational 24×7 and is dedicated for the management of veterans and their dependants affected by COVID. The centre will assist them by providing necessary guidance for test, treatment and vaccination at designated areas in MH and ECHS Polyclinic.
Apart from these functions the centre will also assist in the provision of critical services like ambulance, stretchers, wheelchair and Oxygenated beds for emergency assistance. The Reception centre is wifi enabled and a 24×7 helpline number 7696193368, has been established to act as a one point contact for all queries and help required by veterans of Patiala in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.The ECHS, Patiala has also taken a unique initiative to facilitate the veterans by creating a Facebook page as a single point access for complete information related to ECHS Polyclinic. The interface can be used for booking of daily appointments, important contact details, doctor availability, and emergency services for COVID including vaccination, information on bed state at empanelled hospitals and information on policy matters. The page has easy access and does not require a personal Facebook account.There are a total of seven hospitals in Patiala and Rajpura which are empanelled with ECHS, Patiala for ex-servicemen which cater for 204 beds incl 39 ventilator beds for life support. These include some of the best private hospitals namely Columbia Asia, Amar hospital, Prime hospital in Patiala and Neelam hospital in Rajpura.