PESHAWAR: The public sector hospitals have started providing full-fledged services to people in outpatient departments following decline in Covid-19 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On Tuesday, three more persons died of the virus and 76 new cases were reported in the province. Two people passed away due to the virus in Peshawar and one in Dera Ismail Khan, according to a report of health department.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had ordered shutting down elective services at hospitals in April 2020 to concentrate on the management of the people infected by Covid-19 and control its transmission.
The hospitals established triages to filter Covid-19 suspected patients and protect health workers from being infected.
Three more die of virus and 76 cases reported in KP
The closure of services at hospitals adversely affected about 200,000 patients, who visited OPDs at about 2,474 health facilities in the province every day to seek treatment.
The health department in April asked the hospitals to reopen OPDs on a limited basis for vaccinated people and most of the hospitals resumed normal OPD service with adherence to Covid-19 standard operating procedure and vaccination.
Officials in the health department said that downtrend in coronavirus cases and mortalities continued as the province had been reporting less than 100 Covid-19 patients and three deaths on average per day for the past month.
They said that most of the hospitals had restarted OPDs service.
Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), which continued to receive 3,000 patients at the accident and emergency department during Covid-19 restrictions, had resumed the OPD service with 2,500 patients per day.
“We allow 2,000 patients to get OPD slip on daily basis and hospitalise emergency patients. A 400-bed Covid-19 complex has been established to receive patients from all over the province. Now Covid-19 situation has eased up so we have resumed OPD service,” LRH spokesman Mohammad Asim told Dawn.
He said that they were vaccinating people before they visited doctors in OPD.
He added that more than 200,000 people were administered the jabs in the hospital.
The director of Bacha Khan Medical Complex in Swabi, Dr Khalid Masud, said that they had started full services for the past one month but patients and their relatives were required to get inoculated and observe Covid-19 precautions.
“All specialised services are available in OPD and patients are admitted for elective services such as surgeries for hernia and gallstones that were not allowed in the recent past by the government due to Covid-19,” he added.
Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) and Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), which along with LRH managed bulk of the coronavirus patients in the province and stayed closed for non-Covid-19 patients, also restarted full-fledged healthcare services.
Dr Saudul Islam, the associate director of KTH, said that full-scale services had been started at the hospital.
HMC medical director Prof Shehzad Akbar Khan said they provided full services to people and also managed dengue and Corona patients.
“We have played a frontline role in Covid-19 and 18 patients are still being treated as in-patients. We have taken infection control measures and made SOPs mandatory for visiting the hospital,” he added.
Health officials said that resumption of elective services in government health facilities was benefitting the patients, who were totally dependent on the free services.
They said that closure of services in hospitals helped them to put brakes on transmission of virus to health workers.
They said that more than 30 health workers died of Covid-19 while the tally of infected medics was 4,419.
They added that during Covid-19, only elective services stayed closed that could be delayed and caused no harm to the patient but emergency patients were treated as usual at the hospitals.
Officials said that closure of those services at the hospitals enabled them to strengthen emergency service and focus on management of coronavirus patients.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021