22November2017

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No Echocardiogram: Patients Run From Pillar to Post

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 Rohit Sisodia
A Digital Patient Referral System can be a solution to the harassment of patients at government health facilities in Delhi.

The machines for conducting the crucial Echocardiogram test on patients, badly required in this health emergency due to deteriorating air quality in the national capital, is simply not available in most government hospitals and health facilities in East Delhi, which is the most populous part of Delhi.

The worst part is that this fact that the crucial test can not be conducted in the government hospitals is hidden from the patients. As a result, the often critically ill and old patients are caught unawares after spending a lot of time in various queues only to finally learn that there will be no echo test and hence no proper diagnosis.

Even worse, government health facilities, after wasting the crucial time of these very ill patients, refer them to the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara, oblivious to the fact that even this so called big hospital does not have this facility.

After thus running from pillar to post, the patients finally land up at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty hospital in Tahirpur, where the echo test can be conducted, but the problem here is that the patients have to wait in a queue and get the chance to have this test conducted only after a few days. Treatment is thus an ordeal for the poor in this part of the city.

A thus harassed lady patient at the Hedgewar Hospital in East Delhi told DTMT that she had been waiting in the queue for a very long time and was advised by the hospital staff to get the test conducted in a private lab, where the test would cost some Rupees two thousand.

It is one thing for the government hospitals not to have equipment and facilities. And, it is quite another to waste the crucial time of unsuspecting critically ill patients by making them run around in circles. It would be far better for all hospitals under various government authorities to have a digital patient referral system which can be accessed online so that a patient can be immediately sent to a hospital where the facilities that he or she requires do exist.

In this day and age, when we are trying to achieve a Digital India, where is the sense in critically ill patients running around in circles just because there a vacuum of information?

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