Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 10
Concepts of telemedicine and video consultation have become a routine practice for doctors in the metro cities, but the trend also seems to be catching up with Jalandhar residents, owing to the Covid spread.
The doctors say that the patients are avoiding visiting hospitals as far as possible and are approaching them physically only when there is a dire emergency. For their routine problems and post-operative consultation, they either seek the doctor's advice on phone or make use of the WhatsApp video mode.
Many doctors say that they had taken telemedicine software, which is also now legal to use as the Medical Council of India had allowed it for safety of patients due to the virus spread. Everything ranging from seeking appointment to discussing their health issues and making payment is done through the software. But they said instead of coming via the software, the Jalandhar patients were more convenient in consulting doctors on phone calls and video conferencing.
IMA President Dr Navjot Dahiya says, "Telephonic consultation is getting very common for patients facing depression. Many patients have bought pulse oxymeters and have begun managing their symptoms on their own after seeking advice from us."
Telemedicine is more prevalent in certain specialties related to psychiatry or trouble in throat. So, far, only 5-10 per cent of the patients are coming via this mode. But a large number of patients have been calling up for telephonic or video consultation. —Dr Navjot Dahiya, President, IMA Punjab
Patients are avoiding hospital these days. Many of my patients who have undergone surgery are now consulting me on phone. They show me the wounds on the video and I suggest them changes in medicine accordingly. If there is a need to visit the hospital, we even call them up. —Dr Kamal Gupta, consultant surgeon
Tele-consultation helps avoid social-crowding and we are using it in between. Whenever parents want to consult us about their children, I give them telephonic appointments at a gap of 15 minutes. But I am not charging them for any such service. —Dr Anshuman Verma, Paediatrician
Only 35 per cent of patients have been coming to the hospitals. Since the MCI has legalised the telephonic consultation, we are trying to help the patients as far as possible, especially those from far-off areas. We call the patients to the hospital only when there is acute emergency. —Dr BS Johal, Orthopaedic Surgeon
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