Suspension of normal surgeries trouble patients
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: Though the number of Covid cases has gone down across Jammu and Kashmir, the closure of Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) in major hospitals in the valley continued to remain closed, thus leaving the non-Covid patients to lurch at large.
Scores of people suffering from different ailments and had to undergo surgeries told Precious Kashmir that the closure of OPDs and suspension of general surgeries is pushing them to face hardships.
Mehraj Ahmad from Pahalgam suffered a severe orthopedic problem a week ago. He visited GMC Anantnag and doctors suggested him to undergo MRI besides prescribing some medicine.
Two days later he again consulted the doctor and showed him the MRI report. After examining the report, doctor opined that if his issue does not resolve with medicines, he would have to undergo surgery.
The doctor advised Mehraj to take medicine and come for next consultation on weekend for getting a date for the surgery.
“I was supposed to get the date for surgery on next consultation but due to the closure of OPD at the facility, I have been continuously writhing with pain. Though I dropped my MRI report to many other known doctors who all opined that it needs a surgery,” Mehraj said.
He wondered why the government is not reopening the OPDs when restrictions have already been eased and the Covid cases have started declining to a large extent.
“Now businesses have resumed, traffic has been allowed to ply on roads, restaurants are open also. One wonders why the government has kept the OPDs closed, which only furthers the agonies of patients,” he rued.
Mehraj is not the only patients desperate to see the OPDs of major hospitals open to get himself treated; there are hundreds of such poor patients across the Valley suffering on account of the closure of OPDs and suspension of general surgeries.
Iqra, a young girl from Anantnag, is a type 2 diabetic patient and used to visit the pediatric endocrinology OPD at SKIMS after two weeks or a month to seek consultation.
From last twenty days, she has been complaining of shivering, severe body pain and complete lack of appetite despite her blood sugar levels showing normal during routine tests.
Her family is desperate to take her for consultation but due to the closure of OPD at the healthcare facility they are feeling helpless.
“We many a time in last twenty days called the doctor who has been treating her since three years but he is telling us that OPD is shut. Now, we had tried to consult the doctor posted at GMC Anantnag who also has expertise in diabetes but could not locate him anywhere in the hospital two days ago. The people at his private clinic have now fixed our appointment either him on Saturday,” said her brother, Abid.
People questioned the closure of OPDs in hospitals when doctors continue to practice at private clinics and normal conduct all surgeries.
Medical Superintendent, GMC Anantnag, Dr Iqbal said that surgical OPD and ENT were functioning normally in the hospital during Covid lockdown.
“We have started opening OPDs of other departments. Surgical ward, which had been converted into a Covid ward, has again been handed over to surgery department. I think by 1st of July, we will be starting OPDs for the entire department besides conducting normal surgeries as well,” MS said.