| Gurgaon |
Updated: May 24, 2020 9:11:30 am
With relaxations being announced in the district in the third and fourth Lockdowns, Out Patient Departments (OPDs) at private hospitals in the city have, for the first time in over a month, started seeing a rise in footfall. Opening their doors to patients with several precautionary measures in place, officials at multiple hospitals said they have seen a steady rise in the number of patients coming for consultations.
“The OPD footfall has increased in the last 2 weeks as compared to when the lockdown was first imposed in the month of March. We have seen an increase of 25 per cent in the OPD. However, it is still 30 per cent lower than the usual OPD footfall pre lockdown, which is mainly because of the restriction imposed on the international and domestic flights,” said Dr Ritu Garg, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI).
“A lot of people were withholding coming to hospital for their routine check ups and treatments and people had delayed their surgeries, therefore, earlier, major footfall was in the emergency services. However, people who had earlier delayed their treatment are now coming forward to seek treatment in different specialities like neuro sciences, cardiology, orthopaedics, internal medicine and other specialities,” she said.
Dr Arunesh Kumar, Chief Pulmonologist and HOD-Paras Chest Institute, said that, at Paras Hospital also, a similar trend has been noticed.
“In my OPD I am looking at approximately 15 cases a day during my duty hours…The OPD count is less than before but now, with the lockdown which has been partially lifted, the numbers are picking up,” said Dr Kumar.
“Some patients who were waiting for the lockdown to get lifted are coming to the hospital now. The consultations are like before, of pneumonia…common chest problems,” he said.
In order to prevent any spread of Coronavirus, hospitals have also taken various measures as they resume operations with the restrictions being eased. Paras Hospital, for example, is currently operating with “relatively lesser staff”.
“At the moment, in every department, everyone is doing weekly duties, and timings have been allocated to each doctor,” said Dr Kumar.
At Columbia Asia Hospital, similarly, Dr Nikhil Mishra, Chief of Medical Services, said, “Screening of all hospital visitors is done at the entrance and no one is allowed to enter without a proper mask. At the billing counter and OPD waiting area, a distance of 1 metre is ensured between people.”
FMRI has taken this a step further, installing “protective plastic shields” all over the hospital, including in OPD areas, doctors chambers, and billing, “to minimise the contact between staff and attendants”.
“For staff, rosters are maintained for minimal staff to come to office and maintain social distancing,” said Dr Garg.
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