Moomina Bashir, a 32-year-old pregnant woman, reached LD Hospital at 11 am for OPD check up on Monday. She and her elderly mother took turns standing in the queue for OPD registration. Between them, they stood in line for one-and-a-half hours before reaching the counter.
Like Moomina, a number of women in their later stages of pregnancy could be seen waiting in the queue.
Only two counters issue OPD cards to about 800-900 OPD patients that visit the hospital a day. On some days, patients rush touches 1100.
“OPD registration is an ordeal for women. Not every woman is accompanied by an attendant. Sometimes an attendant and the patient stand in two queues to try their luck at getting to the counter quicker,” he said.
A senior doctor at the hospital said that changes in the manner of patient flow in OPDs has been streamlined through various initiatives such as multi-cabins as per the patient requirement, public announcement system for smoothening turns, huge waiting area for patients awaiting consultation and restricting entry of male attendants.
But, she said, the registration counters were a weak area the hospital administration had ignored completely.
“Right from the moment the woman starts registering at the hospital, it is misery not ease that greets her,” she said.
“A few more OPD counters would reduce the waiting time considerably. At least, cover the area so that those waiting in queues are protected from weather vagaries,” she said.
Medical superintendent LalDed Hospital, DrShabir A Siddiqi said that the hospital had the provision of opening the third registration counter if the administration felt the rush was more than usual.
“Sometimes we do open the third counter, but usually the two counters suffice,” he said.