A number of patients made to wait for months for OPD consultation

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 10/8/2018 4:49:49 PM

SRINAGAR, Oct 7: Aqida, a young girl suddenly suffered stomach pain and vomiting last year. She consulted many doctors both at local healthcare facilities and private clinics.
Doctors suggested her to do some major tests, the results of which came normal time every time. On the basis of test reports doctors continued to prescribe her medicines but she had no relief despite taking all the drugs for months together.
The girl’s worried father finally decided to take her to SKIMS, the premier healthcare institute of the valley. Recently, they decided to leave for the hospital early morning. They were the first in a queue at the registration counter and waited for at least two hours to get the registration card for consultation.
Since they had thought that they will be the first to meet the doctor but on seeing the consultation date on their card nearly two months after the registration date, they were highly surprised and disappointed.
Since the condition of the girl was worsening, her father contacted a known doctor from his area working in SKIMS who managed their consultation with the doctor in gastroenterology OPD.
"It was the doctor from my area who came and ensured our consultation with the doctor. Had not he helped we would have still been waiting for consultation and till then the problem of my daughter would have aggravated more," said girl’s father, Mohammad Ayoub.
A number of other patients who come from far flung areas to the institute with the hope to get immediate and advanced treatment have to return disappointed every day after getting consultation dates.
"Some patients with severe ailments are being asked to come after two to three or months. During this period, the patients unable to afford the treatment at private hospitals or clinics almost reach the death bed. The faulty system of making the patients wait for months together for consultation means that they are being denied the treatment," rued an official working at SKIMS.
Many patients, official sources said, after getting the consultation dates do not return at all as they prefer private consultation over waiting for months.
Medical superintendent, SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan when contacted admitted that there is a waiting period for patients for OPD consultation due to the huge influx of patients.
"There is no fault in the system. We have a better system in place but I can tell you frankly that unless and until there is a proper referral system from peripheral hospitals in place things can't improve at SKIMS," MS said.
He said patients with minor ailments also visit SKIMS for consultation which causes huge rush in the OPDs.
"SKIMS is a tertiary healthcare facility and only the referred patients from district hospitals should be treated at the facility. We should have a proper mandate to refuse treatment to those patients with minor ailments but that is not there. So only a proper referral system can improve the things," MS said.
Asked why they not do it on the lines of PGI Chandigarh where there is a huge patient rush and no waiting period, MS said, "That will only worsen the things as PGI has much better infrastructure than ours."



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