Lack of effective and essential handling of viral fever cases in primary- and secondary-level hospitals and the indiscriminate referral of patients remotely suspected of having dengue fever to the MCH were the reasons for the huge rush of patients, the doctors said.

Even as the government has directed the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) to open up wards and augment treatment facilities for viral and dengue fever patients, doctors have said that the hospital is being swamped by fever patients.

“We are getting at least 100 new fever cases in the outpatient clinic daily, even as the number of inpatients is swelling. Sixty per cent of these patients can be treated in the peripheral hospitals. We have opened up 100 new beds for fever patients, but all patients who have symptoms of dengue fever are being referred to the MCH by the doctors in the peripheral hospitals, virtually swamping us,” a doctor in the Community Medicine department of the MCH said.

There were too many patients camping on the floor and in a lowered immunity state, it was very easy for them to contract other infections from the hospital that could complicate their illness, he said.

“If the government has circulated a dengue treatment protocol, doctors should be asked to follow it strictly. Patients whose platelet levels have not gone down drastically need not be sent to the MCH,” the doctor said.

However, some doctors working in public sector institutions said that in the case of dengue fever, the clinical picture could change dramatically in a matter of hours and they were not willing to ‘take the risk’ of waiting till the platelet count dropped to 50,000 (normal count is in the range of 1.5 lakh to 2.5 lakh) before referring the patient to a tertiary care centre.

“We have been given a dengue treatment protocol but it is not very easy to ask a patient and his/her agitated family members, especially if the patient is a child, to wait. We have had too many situations of patients attacking doctors because they were not referred early enough,” a Health Services doctor said.

1,497 fever cases

Meanwhile, 1,497 new fever cases were reported in the OP clinics in the district on Tuesday, while there were 123 new inpatients. Nine confirmed cases and seven suspected cases of dengue were also reported. All of the cases were from the city Corporation wards.