Outpatient numbers in the city’s large government hospitals dropped by around 40% on Monday as people struggled to reach the healthcare facilities owing to a lack of public transport because of the shutdown.
Victoria Hospital, which sees at least 1,200 outpatients on any given day, had just 800-odd people in the OPD. Dr H S Satish, the medical superintendent of the hospital, said all medical facilities were open but there were far fewer outpatients. “When public transport is affected, it’s quite obvious it would be difficult for patients to reach the hospital, though most of them were aware of the bandh,” he added.
Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, which usually attends to more than 1,000 outpatients, had just 528 people in the OPD. Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology reported at least 40% fewer outpatients.
Many patients made their own arrangements to reach hospitals, paying hefty sums.
Those discharged also struggled to get home. Pooja and her newborn were discharged from the Vani Vilas Hospital, but had to wait for transport. “After 10 days, I came out of hospital along with my daughter only to see the shutdown. A cab driver has agreed to pick me up. Hopefully, I’ll reach home safely,” she said.