Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, and those with suspected symptoms, can also call on the mobile number 7825884974 and inform the hospital before coming in

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, delay in getting medical care continues to be reported in the city.

In an initiative to do away with the delay in accessing medical care, the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) has launched a one-stop solution, which is just a phone call away. A pre-arrival intimation to the COVID-19 outpatient department (OPD) in Tower-3 is now possible at RGGGH, while a zero-delay ward has been readied.

RGGGH came up with this initiative to improve coordination with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to manage incoming patients and prepare beds for them without delay. Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, and those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19, can also call the COVID-19 OPD on the mobile number 7825884974, and inform them before coming to the hospital, said E. Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH.

The mobile number that has been earmarked for the COVID-19 OPD has been circulated to all sanitary inspectors of GCC. They have been told to call this phone number and inform all referrals of COVID-19 patients to RGGGH. The calls would be handled by staff nurses and volunteers of the ‘May I Help You’ desk.

“This was launched two day ago primarily to avoid delays in catering to COVID-19 patients. There will be no overcrowding in the OPD. We can identify availability of beds in various wards and prepare beds with oxygen lines if incoming patients are in need of oxygen support. We can prepare ourselves to receive sick patients once we get the intimation through a phone call,” Dr. Theranirajan explained. Alerting the hospital in advance would enable them to prepare ahead, instead of getting facilities ready after patients arrived, he added.

Doctors said that earlier, there were complaints that patients had to wait for many hours in the OPD, and that there were delays in shifting them to the wards. There were complaints that some had to wait for nearly three hours.

“Now, we have created a zero-delay ward in the OPD with 10 beds, and another 10 beds are being readied. Through this, we can start treatment as per protocol for patients and shift them once the beds get ready. This will do away with delays in treatment and transit of patients,” he said.

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