PGI closed the physical OPDs in March 2020, when the Covid pandemic happened.
Chandigarh: The PGI director is now very keen on resuming the physical OPDs. Even the news came in that a meeting with the head of the department will be held this week to take the further decisions.
PGI closed the physical OPDs in March 2020, when the Covid pandemic happened. The staff and the healthcare got infected and many other patients also got infected. To prevent transmission, the institute opened a dedicated Covid hospital away from the OPDs and took to teleconsultation. “However, phone lines are limited as compared to patient inflow. I have been trying to get teleconsultation for the last one week, but have been unable to connect,” said Harpal Bhatti, a city resident.
“I am of the opinion that physical OPDs should reopen for the benefit of patients. In the advanced eye care center, we have increased intake to over 200 patients a day. They are not even registered over the phone or online. They walk in and are being seen,” said PGI director Prof Jagat Ram.
PGI even received more than 10,000 patients in the OPD daily in comparison to teleconsultation. “Most of the departments have been calling their follow-up cases without tele-registration. However, this limits other patients from visiting. Therefore it is high time that physical OPDs are resumed. All the other hospitals, including GMCH 32 and GMSH 16 have been seeing patients in physical OPDs,” said a faculty in PGI.
Also, doctors feel that teleconsultation is not sufficient in most cases. “It can help manage to follow up cases but not new ones, which need to be physically evaluated. Teleconsultation is a stop-gap and cannot replace physical OPDs,” said a faculty in PGI.