Covid-19 In Delhi: AIIMS, RML & Lady Hardinge To Suspend Non-Essential Surgeries
NEW DELHI: After Safdarjung, three other top hospitals of Delhi, AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) and associated hospitals have decided to suspend elective and non-essential surgeries.
Orders to this effect were issued on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people to postpone their elective and non-essential surgery procedure by a month so that the doctors, nurses and other medical staff are not overburdened amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In a meeting chaired by the director, it was decided that the operation theatre services of AIIMS need to be curtailed in response to heightened need for diversion of infrastructure, manpower and material resources for prevention and control of the Covid-19 outbreak,” stated a circular issued by AIIMS to all department heads.
The circular added that all non-essential elective surgeries are to be postponed and only emergency or life-saving surgeries may be taken up in various operation theatres of AIIMS with immediate effect. AIIMS conducts close to 500 surgeries daily of which 85% are elective surgeries.
An order issued by the undersecretary to the government of India, issued after meeting with the heads of Safdarjung, RML and LHMC, also calls for rescheduling or staggering of elective procedures. “Stopping of OPD is not recommended but proper triaging of patients through a screening OPD at the point of entry has been advised to separate any patient of fever and respiratory distress,” an official said.
Together, all four hospitals have a capacity of over 5,000 beds. However, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, they are being readied to handle any potential health crisis. Safdarjung hospital alone performs nearly 280 surgeries daily, of which 85% are non-emergency surgery for example kidney stone removal, transplants and cataract surgery.
“We had eight patients lined up for kidney transplant of which two are admitted in the hospital. They will be asked to wait until the Covid-19 situation improves,” said a senior doctor at Safdarjung hospital.
A source said hospitals run by the Delhi government may also curtail elective surgery if need arises.
Guru Nanak Eye Centre, one of the state-run hospitals, has already issued orders for cancelling of all non-emergency surgeries at the hospital. “To encourage social distancing, only follow up and emergency cases will henceforth be seen in the OPD of GNEC. Only emergency surgeries will be performed till further order,” the hospital said.
The Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) Teachers Association has also written to the principal secretary of health for Delhi government saying elective surgeries may be curtailed or suspended. Two big public hospitals run by the state government, G B Pant and Lok Nayak hospitals, are associated with MAMC and together they conduct over 200 surgeries daily. The hospital doctors have asked the government to install thermal scanners at entry points and restrict OPD services to emergency cases only. “Patients may be advised through the media and notifications to not rush to hospitals for minor ailments and instead seek treatment advice from mohalla clinics,” the MAMC teachers’ association has said.
–Times Of India