‘More staff required for longer OPD hours’

Doctors have sought to know how the Union Health Ministry has planned to implement the proposed extension of timing for the out-patient departments (OPD) at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital successfully, stating that the hospital staff are already overburdened with work.

They said the existing strength of staff is already inadequate if the number of patients that they handle is considered.

12-hour facility

The pilot project, which is all set to take off, states that Safdarjung Hospital will offer 12-hour OPD each day.

OPDs in most government hospitals, including Safdarjung, currently run for five hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with special afternoon clinics being operational for certain ailments, like diabetes.

Under the new proposal, the OPDs will be operational from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Resident Doctors Association (RDA) has demanded recruitment of more doctors for effective implementation of the proposal.

“Nobody is against treating more patients or making healthcare and OPDs available to the poor who come here from across the country. However, the government has to understand that to run a 12-hour OPD effectively is simply not possible with the existing strength of staff. They are already crumbling under work pressure. It is no hidden fact that government hospitals are facing a shortage of doctors and most of us have been working for longer hours and under a lot of stress,” said a senior member of the RDA.

He said that although extension of the timing is a very welcome move, it will create more pressure on doctors.

“We will have to bring in more doctors to ensure the success of the proposed programme,’’ he said.

“The move is aimed at providing medical services to the patients round the clock,” a Health Ministry official said.

Once it is implemented successfully at Safdarjung Hospital, it will be replicated at other Central government hospitals, an official said.

Feedback sought

Meanwhile, the medical superintendent at Safdarjung Hospital has directed all departments to give their feedback and submit strategies to work during the proposed extended OPD hours.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:42:34 PM |

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