Kashmir's main tertiary healthcare institute, the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, has started tele-consultation services for patients in order to reduce physical visits to outpatient departments (OPDs) in view of COVID spike in Kashmir.
Speaking to the Greater Kashmir, Medical Superintendent Dr. Farooq Jan said that the tele-consultation services are in addition to OPDs. "Our OPDs will remain open, but to decongest the hospital premises as per the COVID protocols we are encouraging patients to seek medical advice via tele-consultation helpline. It will save them from visiting hospital and at the same time decongest the premises."
Dr. Jan said that apart from OPDs, emergency services are functioning normally. "People should contact the helpline numbers to seek consultations."
As per the SKIMS officials, the public can avail tele-consultation for specialties which include general medicine, general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology, endocrinology, neonatology and Obs. & Gynae.
"The decision to open tele-consultation services has been taken with a view to discourage patients with minor ailments from visiting the hospital and exposing themselves to COVID virus," an official informed.
SKIMS being a tertiary care healthcare institute witnesses a huge rush of patients from all over Kashmir. The OPDs continue to witness a huge rush even this time when the COVID infection cases are rising at an alarming pace across Kashmir.
The SKIMS has dedicated 270 beds for COVID patients, currently 183 COVID patients are undergoing treatment in the institute.
On April 8, SKIMS ordered closure of all non-emergency surgeries and admissions to carve space for the increasing load of COVID19 patients.
SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina has also decided to provide online OPD services from 24th April.
Earlier, SMHS Hospital shut down its out-patient department (OPD) in the wake of the spike in COVID-19 cases.