Relief as elective surgeries resume at govt hospitals

On an average, 750 patients visiting OPDs for consultation daily

Relief as elective surgeries resume at govt hospitals

Patients wait for their turn at the registration counter of a government hospital in Amritsar.

Manmeet Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 20

With government orders allowing elective surgeries at government hospitals, patients, especially those who need to undergo operations, have heaved a sigh of relief. Even the number of daily OPD patients at government hospitals has increased recently.

The state government had suspended elective surgeries in government hospitals in August to reduce the chances of people getting infected during hospital visits and to reduce burden on the medical staff who were already handling lots of Covid-19 patients. With the medical fraternity already divided over the issue of suspending elective surgeries with many among them arguing that elective surgeries are not non-essential services and delaying these for long can lead to the worsening of the condition of patients.

A senior faculty member at Government Medical College said, “In elective surgeries unlike emergency services, the patient normally does have an option to choose the day of his or her admission. But it does not mean that an elective surgery could be put off for long.” Those who were most affected by the suspended elective surgeries were the ones with dental issues as hospitals were only catering to critical patents.

Owing to the suspension of these services at government hospitals, patients, especially those who could not afford costly treatment at private clinics, had no option but to visit these clinics.

Sawinder Singh, a patient, who had to get his gall bladder removed, said, “Despite many other problems at government hospitals, poor patients have no other place to go to for medical treatment.”

Dr Charanjit Singh, SMO, Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs Memorial Civil Hospital, said, “We admitted 33 patients in the indoor department today. The number of patients seeking treatment is increasing daily.”

At present, the number of OPD patients is around 750 daily. Around 1,100 OPD patients used to visit the hospital daily before the outbreak of Covid-19. “As we have started conducting surgeries, the number of daily OPD patients would increase,” said Dr Singh.


Surgeries were suspended in August

The state government had suspended elective surgeries in government hospitals in August to reduce the chances of people getting infected during hospital visits and to reduce burden on the medical staff who were already handling lots of Covid-19 patients. Those who were most affected by the suspended elective surgeries were the ones with dental issues as hospitals were only catering to critical patients.

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