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Calls from districts flood hosp pre-arrival enquiry helpline

The pre-arrival enquiry helpline for COVID-19 patients at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) has been getting flooded with calls from patients coming from other districts of late. Helpline operators say that many patients contact the helpline to ensure adequate availability of ventilators and intensive care units, which is sometimes not available in the other hospitals.

Calls from districts flood hosp pre-arrival enquiry helpline
Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital


With a large number of patients being denied beds and ventilators among rising cases of COVID-19 across the State, the hospital authorities at RGGGH initiated an enquiry helpline at the COVID-19 outpatient service to help the patients -- 7825884974.

Patients from Nagapattinam, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Villupuram and other districts also call the hospital to intimate the hospital staff of their arrival. A senior official from the hospital said that a large number of patients admitted in private hospitals are being sent to government hospitals, particularly to RGGGH, because of the higher patient load or condition of the patient.

"The staff at the hospital maintains a record of the patient’s intimation of arrival and informs the medical staff to prepare the medical facilities and beds, thus, ensure zero delay in admission. The helpline helps the patients ensure that the required medical services and facilities are available at our hospital, so they can bring in patients in time and get them treated," said the official.

A large number of people contact the hospital through the helpline to make enquiries regarding the ventilator, oxygen support, separate beds, and intensive care unit facilities because many private hospitals are struggling to provide the same due to the high number of patients.

"There are about 150-200 calls received on an everyday basis, wherein people inquire about the availability of the beds and medical equipment based on the requirements of the patients. So far, more than 2,000 calls have been responded in a fortnight by the helpline operators, who work round the clock to attend the enquiry calls. Additional staff, including nurses and volunteers, have been appointed to attend to these calls at the hospital," said Dr E Theranirajan, dean of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

He added that while the helpline helps patients to intimate the hospital of their arrival, it aids the doctors to get an image of the health condition of the patient and medical treatment required for them.

To ensure zero delay in the admission of patients, 20 additional beds have been set up in the outpatient department, for COVID-19 patients and suspected cases both to initiate treatment as soon as the patient arrives. The authorities at RGGGH have set up another helpline number (8939797696) to attend to the queries of the patient and complaints related to admission or treatment.

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