Telangana doctors say time to focus on non-Covid patients

non-Covid patients
With the Out Pateint services resuming, patients queue up for check ups at the Osmania General Hospital. -Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: Senior doctors at government hospitals on Monday said that the time has come to focus on non-Covid patients while meticulously following safety guidelines to break the chain of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare establishments. Healthcare workers in government hospitals are equipped with PPE kits and N95 masks for ensuring safety while implementing physical distancing measures in the outpatient blocks.

Superintendents of various hospitals said that adequate stock of safety equipment for healthcare workers is in place. However, they also pointed out that it would take some time to inculcate the habit of physical distancing among patients and attenders who turn up in large numbers in government hospitals.

“I have distributed enough PPE kits to doctors who are manning the fever clinics. However, safety gear is not necessary for doctors and healthcare workers at other medical wings but they have to use N95 masks. We have enough supply of safety equipment,” Dr Nagender said.

Nagender said that instructions have been issued to all the healthcare workers to contact his office in case they face shortage of masks. “According to ICMR guidelines, each N95 mask can be used for 4 days. We have ample supply of PPE kits, and I have given instructions to all the healthcare workers at the Osmania General Hospital to contact heads of departments to issue fresh stock,” Dr Nagender said.

With Gandhi Hospital handling only COVID-19 patients, OGH has been drawing all the patients in the last few weeks, who earlier were availing treatment in various medical departments in Gandhi Hospital.

All kidney patients from Gandhi Hospital have been transferred to OGH for long-term free dialysis. Patients from the departments of Gastroenterology, Plastic Surgery, General Medicine, Nephrology etc. at Gandhi Hospital needing in-patient care have already been transferred to OGH.

“The existing manpower of healthcare workers at OGH is enough to provide medical services to the additional patients. We are taking all precautionary measures and doing our best to make patients aware about the importance of physical distancing,” Dr Nagender said.

At Fever Hospital, doctors pointed out that apart from providing treatment to COVID-19 patients, emphasis should also be given to seasonal ailments. “We are entering monsoon season in just a few days and there will be a spike in water-borne ailments like malaria, dengue etc. We are preparing for the possible surge in seasonal ailments along with COVID-19 cases,” says Superintendent, Fever Hospital, Dr S Shankar.

Meanwhile, the Chest Hospital at Erragadda has continued to cater to suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients, apart from operating emergencies. “Since we are the nodal centre for COVID-19, the outpatient facilities for non-Covid patients are not available. However, we are operating all the emergency services,” Superintendent, Chest Hospital, Dr Mahabob Khan said.

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