Madurai

Drop in patients receiving cancer care

There has been a drop in the number of inpatients and outpatients availing cancer care at Government Rajaji Hospital.

Associate Professor of Medical Oncology J. Jebasingh says around 60% of the patients who regularly visited the hospital for chemotherapy still find a way to come to the hospital. However, there has been an overall drop in the number of outpatients. “Many patients who have completed their cancer therapy but under medication to prevent recurrence have not come to the hospital due to fear of COVID-19,” he says.

Most of the cancer patients are referrals from other departments of the hospital. So the drop in number of new patients to the hospital itself has resulted in reduction in number of cases referred to the oncology department.

Before COVID-19 lockdown, 50 to 60 patients used to come for chemotherapy every day. Now it has come down to 20 to 30 cases.

Free pick-up

Dr. Jebasingh says the State government has been providing free pick-up and drop facilities for those needing chemotherapy which is being utilised well by patients.

Dean J. Sangumani attributed the drop in number of patients coming to the hospital to the absence of public transport as a vast majority of the patients used city buses. However, all emergency surgeries were attended to immediately. The hospital continues to treat patients from different districts of south Tamil Nadu as it serves as a tertiary care hospital with excellent infrastructure. Once elective surgeries resume, more patients will arrive, he says.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:20:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/drop-in-patients-receiving-cancer-care/article32245851.ece

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