8am-8pm: Saf­dar­jung Hosp plan­ning 12-hour OPDs

Key Depts Asked To Draw Roadmap To Im­ple­ment Project

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - DurgeshNan­dan.Jha@ times­group.com

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.

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