The hospital authorities say that the blocks are being opened as per the patients count but state health department officials say that they have allowed to open all non-surgical services at the government and private hospitals.
52-year-old Murali was admitted to the general trauma ward at a government hospital in an unconscious state after an episode of seizures and he also had a history of neurological issues. However, he was kept in the general intermediate ward for more than a week as the neurological blocks in the new building were locked post COVID-19 cases surge at the hospital and attention had shifted to COVID-19 blocks.
While the hospitals in the city have started attending to non-COVID cases and elective surgeries, the infrastructure for providing non-COVID services does not seem to be in place in different specialities as earlier.
"There are adequate doctors on duty in a single ward but chief doctors, head of departments, other specialists visit the general ward in case of emergency cases and if their opinion is required. However, the patients from neurology, cardiology, trauma, renal issues and others are in the emergency for many days and are only put in intermediate wards as the speciality blocks are locked. This does confuse the medicos on duty and the doctors fron all specialists come here for respective patients. We have informed the seniors but yet to get a decision on that," said a junior medico posted at the general trauma ward of Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
The hospitals on the other hand, say that though the non-Covid services have been opened for a while now, the patients count has been very low in certain specialities and the workforce has to be divided accordingly. "We have opened all the non-COVID services at the hospital and patients are significantly higher in the trauma ward. They are divided into respective wards based on their condition and the medical history, we have to wait and keep them under observation before shifting to respective speciality block," said Dr P Balaji, dean of Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
Another probelm faced by patients is of the unavailability of the pay wards for non-COVID cases as they are yet to be brought to use for non-COVID patients at Stanley Medical College and Hospital and Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital. While the new buildings of Nephrology and Rheumatology block is soon getting more number of patients, the new blocks have been idle for more than a year.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, project director Dr S Uma said that all the government hospitals are allowed to open the infrastructure, workforce and services for all kinds of non-COVID cases and elective surgeries and if there are any specific complaints, they can be addressed by the dean of the respective medical college hospitals.