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April 10, 2020

Caution stressed for hospitals on OPD reopening

Lahore

April 10, 2020

Islamabad :The Young Consultants Association Pakistan (YCAP) has asked the government hospitals to exercise extreme caution while reopening outpatient departments to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The OPDs were closed in the countrywide hospitals last months as a precautionary measure against the virus. However, as the Supreme Court resented the move last Monday over the misery of people suffering from health issues other than COVID-19, the federal and provincial governments have ordered the reopening of all hospital OPDs.

"We don't oppose the resumption of work in OPDs and rather welcome it for the sake of patients. However, we at the same time request the Supreme Court to ask the governments to ensure that protection of all hospital staff members, especially doctors and paramedics, from the virus by the immediate provision of personal protective equipment and N-95 masks," YCAP Chairman Dr Asfandyar Khan said.

Dr Asfandyar, who is also the spokesman for the All Employees PIMS (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences) Restoration Movement, warned that OPDs could become a major source of the transmission of COVID-19 if the hospitals didn’t act with extreme caution.

“Hospitals must enforce a protocol for OPD visits under which a patient should be accompanied by just one attendant and entry should be allowed to only the patients with appointment secured over the phone, whose numbers should be publicised on media,” he said.

The YCAP chairman also called for the establishment of a separate isolation hospital in every district saying the proposed move will help other hospitals cater to patients suffering from diseases other than coronavirus.

He also flayed the ‘flawed’ anti-coronavirus strategy of the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore, principal and said the orders of Prof Mehmood Ayaz to the hospital’s doctors and paramedics for not examining the suspected COVID-19 cases and referring them to the Mayo Hospital or International Expo Centre.

“We strongly condemn such a non-professional behaviour and action against consultant Dr Hamid Butt and call for punishment of the culpable people,” he said. Dr Asfandyar said the YCAP assured the people that health professionals won’t disappoint them and would continue working for patient care diligently despite having limited resources.