Missing Patients

Dr Rajive Gupta
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, other human ailments can’t be ignored. Surprisingly, the number of patients with other common ailments have almost disappeared during the lockdown. The heavy rush of patients in the private clinics and hospital OPDs and laboratories and ultrasound centers has suddenly gone very low. Who is catering these patients? Is covid-19 a blessing to reduce the occurrence of other diseases of mankind. Statistically, number of RTA and assaults has gone very low, pollution free atmosphere has reduced many other air borne ailments, stress free life style has removed psychosomatic disorders from the mind and bodies of man and consumption of home made food has significantly reduced gastrointestinal problems. There is hardly any doctor seen doing in person private practice due to lockdown and social distancing because of fear of Covid-19 Pandemic and for its prevention. Surgeons are not doing elective operations to prevent themselves and staff and patients as well from covid-19 infection. Many studies have shown covid infection to be responsible for deaths occurring in patients of elective surgery all over the world during lockdown period.
There is hardly any rush of patients in OPDs in Govt hospitals neither they go to private centers. Where are the patients then? Either the ailments are more psychological or they have gone very low due to lockdown. Neither elective surgeries being performed in Govt hospitals nor in private nursing homes. The incidence of caesarean sections have also gone very low as most of the private nursing homes used to be packed due to caesarean patients are now deserted during the covid-19 lockdown . Where have the patients with acute appendicitis gone.
Though no Govt or private doctor has indulged in practice for almost 2 months, still there has not occurred any choas as for catering the patients in UT of Jammu and Kashmir , so the fear that banning the private by govt doctors will create choas in the UT has been vanished. It is high time for administration to put a ban on the private practice by Government doctors in UT of Jammu and Kashmir and this will streamline the working and patient care as well as teaching in Government medical colleges of UT in the long run. Many hospitals have been converted to covid care centres and still there is no choas in managing other patients.
Definitely man has become more healthy after the unavoidable brake of Covid- 19 lockdown. Ideally, there should be lockdown of one week after every three months to reverse the damages of the nature and to bring back good body and mental health of man. Is that the patients are waiting with their problems till the resumption of routine life and then take consultation by the concerned doctors? Are there problems so minute that these get cured of their own with the passage of time for which patients had to consult their doctors again and again. Something has happened during this lockdown , how it has happened nobody knows, but definitely it has happened.
(The author is a General and Laparoscopic Surgeon in Jammu)