Non-Covid civic hosps pushed to limit, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: OPD regulars at hospitals that have been declared Covid-19 facilities are now avoiding them and shifting to other medical centres in the vicinity. This has put a new burden on the non-Covid municipal corporation hospitals.

East Delhi Municipal Corporation officials pointed out, for instance, that patients earlier visiting Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital are now coming to Swami Dayanand Hospital after the former became a Covid facility on June 22. This has led to Swami Dayanand running its OPDs in two shifts to cater to the sudden increase in patients coming for consultations. The hospital administration has had to stagger the registration timing to prevent overcrowding, especially in the morning hours. “Our challenges have increased as we have to manage the crowd, arrange additional doctors and also ensure social distancing,” said EDMC standing committee chairman Sandeep Kapoor.

The municipal body has summoned doctors and nurses from 20 dispensaries and maternity homes to tackle patients in the gynaecology section alone. Kapoor disclosed that instead of the 1,500 patients who came daily earlier, the hospital is now catering to 3,500-4,000 people.

The OPD registration period for orthopaedics, paediatrics, gynaecology, medicine and surgery has been fixed for 8.30am to 11.30am Mondays through to Fridays, and 8.30am to 10am on Saturdays. The second shift is limited to ENT, skin, eye and dental consultations, for which registration is open from 11.45am to 1.45 pm on weekdays and 10am to 11am on Saturdays.

“Though patients admitted in GTB haven’t been transferred here, OPD patients have automatically migrated to this hospital,” a civic official said. “For the safety of everyone, people are being put to thermal screening at gate No. 2 and being issued tokens via a machine in front of the OPDs. Anyone with fever is immediately referred to the flu clinic.”

At Kasturba Hospital near Jama Masjid, patients had begun swelling in April as soon as Lok Nayak was declared a Covid 19 hospital. Dr Sunil Kumar Prasad, president, Resident Doctors’ Association, Kasturba Hospital, said, “People living in old Delhi and earlier going to Lok Nayak or Hindu Rao hospitals are now coming to us. In comparison with the 5-6 patients who came here for Caesarean section deliveries, we are now carrying out 10-12 such deliveries every day.”

Prasad added that while the work load had increased, the staff strength remained static and could prove inadequate in the days to come.

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