Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 14
The e-Sanjeevani OPD hub at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) isn’t getting the desired response from patients. “People are not using the facility, not many are calling,” said the facility’s nodal officer, Dr Piyush Kapila. “We have a dedicatoed team of 12 doctors for the facility, but there aren’t many callers.”
At a time when Covid cases are rising in the state and the government has officially admitted that the virus has entered the community spread stage, why would people not use the facility and avoid going to hospitals? A doctor, who has been part of the e-OPD hubs in the past, said, “People need to be sensitised to the facility. Besides, there are some technical issues, such as internet speed, which need to be addressed.
The state had created e-OPD hubs in three medical colleges of the state — IGMC, Tanda and Mandi — during the lockdown to help people access medical consultation through e-Sanjeevani portal without having to visit the hospital. “The facility is useful for patients who need to visit hospital for follow-ups. At least they should use it and avoid coming to hospitals,” the doctor said.
While the doctors are rightly advising people to use the online facility, the hospital also has some catching-up to do in using technology. “The hospital started online OPD registration for patients to cut down rush at the outdoor patient counters. It’s not working since long. If it is functional, there will be less crowding around the counters,” said Sonia Thakur, who had a relative admitted to the hospital.
Also, patients suggest the hospitals should install electronic boards outside the OPDs where their token number should be displayed. “Since no one knows when his/her turn will come, everyone stays around in a cramped space waiting for the call. If it is displayed, people will disperse and return when they are likely to see the doctor,” said a patient.
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