The regular practice of postponing surgeries at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is causing inconvenience to patients,who come from far-off places.
The reasons given in support are excessive pressure,staff crunch,overburdened operation theatres and an ever-increasing number of emergency cases.
Despite all this,however,there is a department which is doing a much better job. Though the problems of excessive pressure and long waiting list also plague the Neurosurgery Department,patients are not made to suffer.
A senior resident of the department said,In the department,doctors on a regular basis make a list of patients coming to OPD and note down their address,phone number and details of illness and severity of the problem.
He added,Instead of giving a date of surgery in advance,doctors take the patients contact numbers. Every consultant maintains a record and on daily basis they make calls to patients and inform them about their date of surgery.
He said that the waiting period is not more than one to two weeks and there is no inconvenience suffered by the patients.
The doctor added,There is a lot of pressure,as patients with minor problems also visit the department. There is an OPD of around 200 patients a day and in emergency there are about 40 trauma patients and a similar number of tumour patients. Daily,the department performs 20 surgeries,out of which 6-10 are elective surgeries.
The current waiting time for surgeries at almost every department in PGIMER is getting longer. The waiting time in the Cardiac Department is for 3-4 months. The Paediatrics Department has a waiting time of about two months,Orthopaedics has a 2-3 months waiting period and Urology has 5-6 months.
The problem is similar with laboratory tests,the results for which one has to wait for months.
Hence,if a person has to undergo knee replacement,hip surgery or prostrate surgery he/ she will have to wait for months. But the problem does not end there,it continues with more extensions.
Patients who come to PGI after waiting months for a surgery are harassed by extending the date of surgery to another month.
A consultant from the Urology Department said,Maintaining a record of patients by consultants helps a lot. I believe that doctors should follow this practice of maintaining records. They should call these patients for surgeries on the basis of severity.
He added that infrastructure should be improved and number of Operation Theatres,beds and staff members should be increased.
Dr Rajesh Kapoor,acting PRO,PGIMER said,Emergency cases are never postponed,the surgeries which are delayed are elective surgeries which can wait and can be operated in other hospitals also. We do not send patients back,but only postpone the dates. In PGI,there is always a war-like situation,and attending emergency cases is our priority.
Consultants in small units do maintain records and make separate calls to the patients,which is a good practice and should be followed by other also. But,in large departments with several sub-units,it becomes too difficult for consultants to maintain records and make calls,as they are already overburdened. It is too much to ask from doctors, he added.