They have helped manage nearly 400 Covid-19 patients who are in home isolation, and assisted about 4,500 others in getting tests done. From sending medicines to patients’ doorstep, connecting them with senior physicians at hospitals, getting routine investigations done at minimal cost and keeping a daily check to ensure that they are doing okay, this doctor couple, Dr Gautam Chhajed and Dr Manisha Chhajed, has been tirelessly working at no cost whatsoever for patients – most of whom they have never met.
“To serve the needy is our motto… whether it was the H1N1 epidemic 10 years ago or the coronavirus pandemic, our focus has always been on the patient,” said Dr Gautam Chhajed, who has a diagnostic centre at Bibvewadi while his wife manages a nursing care home. “At a time when there is a shortage of beds and healthcare personnel, we decided to help in whatever way we could,” said Dr Chhajed.
They coulple has started a medico-helpline, and has been connecting various Covid-19 patients to doctors across hospitals. “We also tell the patients how to keep themselves safe during home isolation and not infect others,” added Dr Manisha.
Ajay Bafna, 58, who, along with his wife and children, was Covid positive, said that a close relative had suggested that they contact Dr Chhajed. “We did not know him. But he helped us so much, specially to help keep us psychologically fit, and he sends his people to deliver medicines. His team has been extremely helpful,” he said.
Priyanka Mundada, 26, whose father is admitted at Ruby Hall Clinic, said that the family was extremely stressed as the entire family had Covid. “My father, husband, brother-in-law and my daughter were positive with coronavirus. We were referred to Dr Chhajed by a relative and he has assisted us in getting X-ray reports… via telephonic conversations, he counselled us on how to remain positive,” said Priyanka.
Vinod Jethwani and Heera Madhyani were among other Covid patients who were in home isolation, and they said it was heartening to connect with a doctor who was available 24X7 for patients.
“Triaging of patients in home isolation is important. So, video counselling and monitoring of patients is important. These doctors do connect with us so we offer tele-consultations to patients,” said Dr Prachee Sathe, chief intensivist at Ruby Hall Clinic.
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