8am-8pm: Safdarjung Hosp planning 12-hour OPDs
Key Depts Asked To Draw Roadmap To Implement Project
New Delhi: Safdarjung hospital is planning to operate OPDs for specialties that draw maximum patients from 8am to 8pm.
Sources said the heads of medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology and surgery departments have been asked to draw a roadmap to implement the project on a pilot basis. “The decision was taken on a request by the Union health ministry,” the source added. If successful, the project could be replicated in other Centre-run hospitals.
Confirming the move, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Rajendra Sharma, said, “We have asked all departments concerned to give their feedback on the proposal.” He added that the timeline for execution of the project hasn’t been fixed as yet.
Safdarjung is one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the country run by the Centre. It has nearly 2,000 beds. Another 1,000 beds are likely to be added in its super-specialty and emergency blocks soon. Its OPD sees a footfall of more than 7,000 patients daily. “The idea of evening OPDs is good. Many people who cannot visit the hospital during work hours can seek treatment in the evening. It will also help optimise the use of infrastructure. However, all this may not be possible without more staff,” said a doctor.
Asenior official at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital said that more staff would be required for 24X7 healthcare services. “There have been multiple attempts in the past to run evening OPDs, but they failed. A simi- lar plan was floated by the health ministry in 2003 and in 2010,” said another doctor.
Dr Vijay Gurjar, former president of Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association, said the residents are already overburdened. “Instead of increasing their burden, the focus should be on streamlining the existing facilities. For example, X-ray and laboratory tests should be conducted for extra hours so that the results are readily available and treatment can start,” he added.
Vice-president of Safdarjung Hospital Resident Doctors’ Association Dr Prakash Chandra Thakur said they are opposed to the move. “We do not have staff to run OPD from 9am to 4pm. How can the hospital expect to run 12-hour OPDs? We will submit our representation against the proposal on Saturday to the health ministry,” he added.