Patients decreasing at Government and Private Hospitals amidst Pandemic

Achyut Regmi / Kathmandu, Dec. 23: The number of patients at government and private sector hospitals has decreased amidst COVID-19. This trend is seen since March 24 after the government enforced nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus infection.

The Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) at Maharajgunj is a case in point. It used to provide outpatient services to around 2,500 patients daily before the onset of COVID-19 infection. Now, it has been providing this service to about 1,500 patients on a daily basis.

TUTH’s spokesperson Ram Bikram Adhikari said the number of patients coming to hospitals has declined as many patients are staying home instead of coming to hospital for fear of infection.

TUTH had allocated 100 beds out of its 662 beds for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It had provided all the services even during the lockdown period. The hospital had carried out as many as 40 operations daily prior to the COVID-19 infection and it has been doing up to 10 operations daily at present. It had provided regular surgical and gynecological services to new mothers.

According to Adhikari, TUTH didn’t face any problem in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, thanks to the support provided by various organisations and the government.

The Bir Hospital which has 460 beds had allocated 160 beds for coronavirus infected patients. Of late, it has slashed the number of beds allocated to the COVID-19 patients with the decrease in patients.

Nursing Director at Bir Hospital, Gomadevi Niraula said the hospital treated 120 COVID-19 patients at once. “There was problem in providing treatment services as health equipments were not found in the market at the time of need.

The outpatient department of the hospital used to see around 2,000 patients daily before the COVID-19. Two hundred patients visited the OPD daily during the infection period and this number is gradually increasing. It has presently reached around 1,000.

Private hospitals also could not operate health services in an effective manner in COVID-19 period.

Some departments of Grande International Hospital located in Tokha did not witness single patient during COVID time after patients stopped coming, said General Manager of the Hospital, Bikas Man Singh.

Grande Hospital has resumed kidney transplant service, stopped following coronavirus pandemic, from December 20. Before coronavirus pandemic, the 200-bed hospital used to provide OPD service to 500-700 patients every day. Now, only 200-300 patients visit the hospital every day.

Though the private hospitals do not carry out treatment of COVID-19 infected people by allocating enough quantity of beds, the Grande International Hospital has been providing treatment with ventilators and ICU service to coronavirus infected people by allocating 54 beds.

The hospital has provided treatment to 330 COVID-19 patients so far.

Similarly, surgery cases have also decreased during the coronavirus period. Earlier, the hospital used to carry out surgery of 400 people in a month and now around 100 surgery cases are conducted in a month after the onset of the pandemic.

Singh said that some problems have surfaced in treatment as there is lack of health equipment and it was compulsion to purchase the available health equipment in high price in coronavirus period.

With the fall of patients visiting the hospitals due to COVID-19, sale and distribution of health equipment has also decreased.

Director of Global Hospital Pvt Ltd, Badrinath Ghimire, said that the sale and distribution of health equipment has decreased due to coronavirus as patients suffering from other diseases stopped visiting the hospitals for the services. Global Hospital Pvt Ltd has been selling health equipment in Samakhusi of Kathmandu for the past two years. RSS

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