Closure of OPD service in Jammu increases patients’ worries

JAMMU, Apr 4 (Agencies): The closure of Out Patient Department (OPD) services in Government Medical College and associated hospitals for the past nine days has added to the worries of those ailing from diseases other than Covid.
Thousands of people in the Jammu region are facing hardships as they are unable to get their routine checkup done.
Only emergency services are operational and OPDs in government and private hospitals have been closed since March 25 to stop the assembly of people to contain the spread of coronavirus.
As per the guidelines issued by the government, general public can take telephonic consultation by the medium of text message (SMS), Whatsapp message, call as well as video call on the telephone.
“Closure of OPD services is creating a grave situation. Telephone numbers given on the GMC website remain mostly engaged. The government should come up with some other mechanism. With the internet speed limited to 2G, it is nearly impossible to get medical help via video calls. In rural areas, people don’t understand this concept,” said Tejinder Singh, who lives in RS Pura.
Doctors are also working under pressure. In the absence of physical examination of patients seeking consultation, a wrong diagnose can land them in legal trouble.
“The government needs to come up with some better plan. Problems of the general public should not be overlooked while fighting the spread of Covid”, said Ashok Kumar Koul, who resides on the outskirts of Jammu.
Dr Manoj Chalotra, Medical Superintendent of SMGS Hospital, Jammu, said, “We are facing an extraordinary situation which is beyond our control. Even in this crisis, we are making efforts so that people get medical advice. We will try to bring some changes”.
It is pertinent to mention that Jammu’s three hospitals Psychiatry Hospital, Chest Diseases Hospital and Gandhi Nagar hospital have been exclusively dedicated to treatment of Covid patients.

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