Panchkula: With over 1,500 patients visiting the Out-Patients Department (OPD) of Civil Hospital, Sector 6, every day and around 20 doctors attending to them, the hospital is struggling to manage the rush with its limited staff. While officials remain tight-lipped about the staff crunch, a reality check showed that the doctors also seemed carefree as many OPDs were found without doctors during duty hours.
Along with the lack of basic facilities, and even after awards and accreditation; patients complain that they often return without even meeting doctors at the OPD. As per sources, senior doctors leave early and in their absence, resident doctors manage the OPDs. OPD timing is from 9 am to 2 pm, but doctors generally leave by 12 pm. The source said, every day around 30-40 per cent patients return as they do not find doctors in OPDs.
When Bharat Singh, a resident of Barwala, recently brought his child, to the paediatric OPD, he was informed about the unavailability of doctor. He had no option but to visit a private doctor.
Also many patients coming for consultation with a surgeon went back disappointed when they did not find any senior doctors at the OPD. Ravi Kumar told, “I reached at around 12.45 pm and kept on waiting for the doctor, but the room was vacant and nobody told me that the doctor has left.” He added, “So, I will have to visit again since I can’t afford a private doctor. For now, I will buy medicines from a local pharmacy.”
Similar situation was witnessed at the eye department OPD where several patients left without meeting the doctor. A source informed, “Concerned officials do not take action against erring doctors. Hundreds of patients have been suffering and returning without treatment.’’ Principal Medical Officer, Dr Veena Singh denied the allegations and said, “Doctors are always available in OPDs. Sometimes they have to manage surgeries and attend to other emergencies during the OPD timings. It is possible that because of emergency duty, class lectures or any other official work doctors may have left early on some occasions.” A senior doctor claimed that with limited staff and ever rising number of patients, they are unable to pay much attention to them. “We cannot attend to a patient in an OPD for more than three minutes. There are hordes of them waiting outside,” he said. Dr V K Bansal, chief medical officer, said, “Our doctors are not overburdened and the OPD is looked after well. There is no imbalance in the OPD patient-doctor ratio.”
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