Resumption of OPDs, surgeries in Jammu

Since March 25 the OPD services and elective surgeries stand suspended in all the hospitals of Jammu. In Jammu province, CD, Psychiatric and Gandhi Nagar Hospitals stand dedicated as COVID Hospitals for quarantine and treatment of positive patients while GMC Jammu was kept as tertiary care COVID hospital equipped with ICU and ventilators. Fortunately till now no patient has been referred to GMC for ventilator and all active patients are recovering in other hospitals. However due to closure of OPD and elective surgeries patients suffering with other serious ailments like cancer, cardiac and kidney diseases stand without specialized medicare facilities.
Kashmir has multiple hospitals like SKIMS, separate maternity, bones and joints hospital but GMC being the only main hospital of whole Jammu province cannot be kept in hibernation mode for so long. Jammu has a high recovery rate of 80% with only one death so far so starting only OPDs, with only twenty patients/department daily riders, but no surgeries are just too little efforts on administration’s part for entire Jammu province. Government should seriously think of online registration on the pattern of PGIMER to maintain strict social distancing norms and alternatively use online webinar platforms like Zoom or Google meet for video consultation immediately to give immediate relief to patients. For any serious situation where tests and physical examination is a must patient can come to hospital at a prefixed time. The OPDs can have an additional screening area to screen patients for any Covid-19 symptoms to ensure the infected ones will be identified at entry point only. In case admission is required patient can remain in an isolation facility to be attended by teams wearing protective gear. Similarly laboratories have to be redesigned to maintain distance between the patients and lab staff. All private hospitals as well as private practicing doctors should also immediately start OPDs. Time is tough but medical fraternity has to come to terms to serve humanity at this juncture as for a critical patient a doctor stands next only after God.