Low awareness results in 'flop' online OPD idea

Kiosks at hospitals to enable online registrations now

The Delhi government is planning to install kiosks at government hospitals so that patients can register for OPD service online on the spot. This comes after the government found that there were few takers for the service.

The online OPD registration system has not been able to relieve hospitals of the long queues of patients since it was launched in May.

Health Secretary S C L Das on Tuesday said the OPD registration system remains “undersubscribed”.

“There has been no systemic constraints. But perhaps we have not been able to promote it well. It also needs to be advertised in the electronic media for better response from patients,” Das said.

So far, there has been 6,099 online OPD registrations, according to data available with the Health Department.

“In October, we recorded a total of 713 OPD online registration cases and in November 804 patients availed the service,” a senior health official said.

Currently, patients have to wait in queues for hours even for accessing basic health services or drugs at state-run hospitals.

The government is planning to equip primary health centres to distribute drugs so that there is no overcrowding at hospitals.

“The scope of services of the PHUs will be expanded. We are working toward it,” said Dr Siddharth Ramji, Medical Superintendent, Lok Nayak Hospital.

Fire safety norms, design
Earlier this year, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had pulled up the Health Department for lacking adequate fire safety measures. But till now six to seven hospitals have not been given fire safety clearance.

“It is true that some hospitals are still lacking fire clearance. We are working closely with the consultation mechanism,” a senior health official said.

A plan is also underway to overhaul the design of the operation theatre at Guru Nanak Eye Centre.

This comes after the OT at the hospital was shut down thrice since May due to recurring cases of infection. An inspection team found that water used for basic services at the OT was contaminated. Das said there was structural defect in the design of the OT with only one entrance and exit.

Patients were delayed by months because of the closure of the OT for long periods. It only became functional two weeks earlier.

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