RML struggles with rush, set to turn away patients

Doctors will see limited number at specialty OPDs

Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has decided to put a cap on the number of patients doctors will see each day at four of its super-specialty OPDs from May 1.

This move comes after doctors in the neurology department complained of chaos in the outdoor patient departments on Friday, besides not being able to devote enough time to patients.

Authorities are planning to bring down the number of patients to 150  in each of the four super-specialty OPDs.

Patients will be seen on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“We are planning to put a cap on four departments — neurology, neurosurgery, endocrinology and urology. These are the departments which see maximum rush”, said Dr H K Kar, medical superintendent of the hospital.  
 
“We will issue circulars tomorrow and also spread it by word-of-mouth so that patients are alerted in advance,”he  said.

 “This will help improve the quality of treatment that patients are provided,” he added.

A doctor from the neurology department said there were 600 patients in the OPDs on Friday.

“How can a super-specialty OPD function like this?  Is it possible to for six doctors to do justice to 600 patients in a day? We cannot even afford to address the query of the patients most of the times,” said a doctor, requesting anonymity.

Currently, services of each super-specialty OPD are available for patients twice a week.

“From May 1, we will accommodate 100 old neurological cases and 50 new cases,” the doctor added.

While hospital authorities see it as a measure to deliver better services, patients in the out-patients department complained that this would mean they have to wait for weeks before their problems are diagnosed.

“It is unbelievable that they are planning to accommodate less patients. The is deliberately bringing down the certainty of patients of receiving treatment,” said Ramesh, a patient at the OPD.

“Why don’t the authorities appoint more doctors and employ better measures to manage the crowd? There is chaos because this space is not enough to accommodate a super-specialty OPD,” said a man in his mid-30s who refused to be named.
“At least, they should make available the option of prior appointments. Instead of resolving the internal problems of the hospital, they are aggravating patients’s problems now,” the patient added.                 

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