Private hospitals yet to act on Health Dept. directions on elective surgeries

Hospitals should conduct COVID-19 test on patient before surgery

Healthcare professionals from certain private hospitals in Coimbatore have alleged that the managements were asking them to perform elective surgeries without conducting a COVID-19 test on patients as mandated by the Health Department.

It is learnt that the staff of some big private hospitals in Coimbatore city have brought this to the attention of senior officials of the Health Department.

The Department had directed hospitals to postpone elective surgeries to avoid risk of COVID-19. Hospitals were supposed to conduct COVID-19 test on the patients if such surgeries were to be performed.

However, the test was not mandated for emergency procedures such as the ones performed on victims of accidents, cardiac arrest and stroke.

No shift system

A senior doctor with a private hospital in the city told The Hindu the management was yet to implement a shift system to reduce the number of medical professionals on duty at the facility.

“Hospital managements should ideally ensure that their facilities are run with minimal staff, that too in shift system. Medical teams including doctors can be deployed in shifts rather than mandating all of them to work every day. One team shall be made to work for a week allowing them to be in quarantine for the next week. This system will reduce the risk of medical professionals getting exposed to an environment where COVID-19 spread is reported high,” said the doctor, on condition of anonymity.

A retired public health expert said that hospitals could do antibodies-based tests on patients, for faster results, if elective surgeries were to be performed. “This will ensure the safety of the medical team involved in performing the procedure,” said the doctor.

While outpatient and inpatient flow in big private hospitals have declined anywhere between 60% and 75%, some nursing homes and clinics have temporarily suspended offering several procedures and consultation.

Labour and pregnancy related patients, who used to consult in some of the nursing homes, are now forced to seek treatment at bigger hospitals, said another doctor of a private hospital.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 9:06:37 PM |

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