ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has re-opened six Outpatients Departments (OPDs) of the hospital on trial basis after remaining closed due to COVID-19 cases surge.
According to the circular issued, six OPDs have been re-opened. The departments include general medicine, general surgery, orthopedics, neurology, dermatology, and physiotherapy.
The circular issued said that it is hereby circulated for information of all concerned that following OPD departments will start working from 08:00am to 2:00pm.
Patients visiting PIMS hospital expressed satisfaction on the partial re-opening of OPDs, however, doctors demanded to visit hospital only in case of severe illness.
Muhammad Mujtaba, a patient looking for appointment to get examined in the orthopedic department OPD said that closure of PIMS OPD for long time has created problems for the patients looking for free medical care.
He said that in private practice, the normal fee for medical check-up charged by doctors in the capital is Rs2000 and medicine cost is otherwise of the examination charges.
He said, however, in PIMS after paying only nominal charges, a patient gets the facility of examination, tests and medicines.
Mujtaba said that though all facilities are not always available in PIMS, but a patient gets tests and medicines from here, it is a big relief for the patients visiting.
“After the decline of COVID-19 cases, the health authorities must consider re-opening of the hospital to provide relief to poor patients visiting the hospital.
Meanwhile, PIMS Media Coordinator Dr. Waseem Khawja told The Nation, though OPDs of six departments have been opened for trial basis, patients should not throng to hospital unnecessarily.
He said that the OPD in normal days before the pandemic at PIMS had reached around 8,000 patients daily which was a huge number in comparison to the number of doctors and facilities available at the hospital.
He said that a vast number of these patients visiting had normal illness which could be treated at primary and secondary care hospitals as well.
“Non-availability of basic health facilities at primary and secondary healthcare hospitals increase patients influx at PIMS,” he said.
Dr. Waseem also added that patients visiting hospital should also take care of SOPs of COVID-19 pandemic as the cases have declined but not ended.
“Carelessness by patients in OPDs can contribute to an increase of COVID-19 infection from the hospital,” said Dr. Waseem.
Another visitor to hospital, Neelum Uzair, said that there are still long queues at OPD for getting examined at the hospital. She said that non-implementation on COVID-19 SOPs by the public at OPDs can cause a risk of infection spread. She said that the social distancing is indeed not being followed by the patients waiting for their turn to get examined in OPDs, however, it could be done by self-responsibility.
“Re-opening of PIMS will be a relief for patients who cannot afford private medical care,” she said. Joint Executive Director (JED) PIMS Dr. Minhaj Siraj said that the OPDs are not officially opened yet as the first floor is under renovation.