FOR 36-YEAR-OLD Raima Grover, coming back to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16 for a regular OPD for her skin condition after close to six months is a huge relief. While telemedicine, agrees Grover, a school teacher was a big boon when the OPDs at the hospital were not operational, as her treatment could go on, the confidence she feels with a doctor seeing her personally and then prescribing a medicine is unparalleled. “For those who are facing health issues, a human touch is very important. For a doctor’s examination gives a patient mental relief and solace as well,” says Dr VK Nagpal, Medical Superintendent, talking about the regular OPDs which started on Monday morning after a long gap.
The Department of Health, Chandigarh, started OPDs in the departments of surgery, orthopedics and skin besides the ones which were operational since the pandemic started, like the departments of medicine, gynae/ obstetrics and paediatrics.
According to Dr Amandeep Kang, Director, Health Services, all necessary measures were taken to maintain adequate physical distance and all patients were advised to wear masks.
“Patients were very cooperative and we had kept extra masks for their benefit. As many as 1084 patients visited the OPDs and we restricted the number of patients to 50 each for examination in surgery, ortho and skin respectively. We began the registration at about 7.30 am and by 11 am we had stopped the registrations, with only ten patients allowed to go in. There was proper distancing, no chaos and the doctors were also comfortable about beginning the OPDs. We have also opened the general theatre, and hope to do elective surgeries like gall bladder hernia etc within a week. Today we did four major and eight minor surgeries. While the Emergency services were on throughout this time, the restarting of OPDs will benefit many patients,” added Dr Nagpal. For a follow-up, patients can register through a landline number and seek appointment, which according to Dr Nagpal, will save long lines and rush, with a plan in place to start all OPDs in a week or ten days.
As for the COVID situation, Dr Nagpal said that those who have co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer need to be extra cautious in the winter, as these conditions can aggravate the symptoms of COVID. “Those who are immuno-compromised and the elderly should take all precautions and with the festive season approaching, we cannot afford to be callous.