close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
April 11, 2021

Outdoor services for four specialties suspended

Lahore

April 11, 2021

LAHORE: The Punjab government has ordered suspension of outdoor services and elective surgeries for certain specialties in seven districts with maximum concentration on coronavirus cases with immediate effect for 10 days.

In order to prevent transmission of COVID 19 and to strengthen and expand the services for COVID-19, the elective surgeries and OPD services of four specialties i.e. ENT, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and Dentistry will be suspended in public sector teaching/ specialised hospitals under the administrative control of SHC&ME Department, in seven districts i.e. Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan with immediate effect. However, OPD services of all the other specialties will be sustained. The OPD services and elective surgeries in hospitals situated in other districts of Punjab will also continue as usual. The Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&MED), in a letter to all the vice-chancellors, principals, heads of specialised medical institutions and medical superintendents, ordered suspension of Out-Patient Department (OPD) services and elective surgeries in teaching/specialised hospitals in seven districts of Punjab with immediate and strict compliance for 10 days to minimise COVID-19 transmission. The situation would be reviewed on April 20, 2021.

The doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers of the above-mentioned four specialties will be engaged for management of COVID-19 patients.

As regards Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed for OPD services, all the precautionary measures should be strictly adopted for the safety of patients and the healthcare service providers, and to minimise chances of transmission of COVID-19.

These measures may include that all patients should be provided surgical disposable masks outside the main entrance of the OPDs. The hospital staff should ensure that every patient/attendant wears a mask.

All measures should be adopted to maintain social distancing. A distance of at least three feet should be ensured between the patients while they are in queues. This distance should be maintained also when the patients/attendants are seated on benches. In this regard, circles may be marked with chalk/other material on floors and on benches, etc.

Separate screening desks should be established outside the main OPDs.

The desks should have glass shields so that they may act as physical barrier between the patient and the hospital personnel manning the desks. The arrangements for comfortable environment with tents and fans, etc, for patients should be ensured according to weather conditions.

The paramedics and nurses (protected with surgical mask and gloves) should screen the patients at the screening desks. They should ask the patients whether they had symptoms of fever, cough, flu or breathlessness. If the patient has got these symptoms, he/she should be referred to the dedicated corona counter. The patient should wear surgical mask. The other patients without these symptoms should be allowed to proceed to the registration counter inside the OPD. The registration counter clerk too should observe precautions. The clerk should wear a face mask and keep safe distance of three feet, and a glass shield should be installed between the patient and staff at the registration counter. Adequate quantity of hand sanitizer should be made available for the patients, attendants as well as for the healthcare service providers. Soap bars and liquid hand-wash and tissue papers, in ample quantity be made available in toilets of OPDs.

No attendant may be allowed to accompany the patient if the patient can take care of herself/himself. If, however, the patient is incapacitated and needs assistance or in case of paediatric patient, one attendant may be allowed to accompany the patient.

The related hospital should ensure regular and repeated disinfection regime, including cleaning of floors, surfaces of tables, chairs, door knobs, wheel chairs, stretchers, railings and with approved cleaning solutions.

The doctors, nurses, paramedics who have to directly examine or handle the patients should use personal protective equipment as per the guidelines issued by SHC&ME Department.