Safadrjung Hospital New Delhi has commenced operations of its Geriatric OPD; the inauguration of the new facility was done by Honorable Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Dr Sunil Gupta the Medical Superintendent of VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital explained the need for a separate OPD for the elderly and expressed satisfaction at the response of the patients “the general OPD’s are overcrowded which causes distress to elderly patients who are already suffering hence we needed this facility. The Honorable Health Minister is also very enthusiastic about this facility and we would be adding urology services to the OPD from next week onwards as.” Dr Gupta noted that life expectancy in India has risen sharply leading to a growth in elderly population and wished that more hospitals introduce such facilities.
The first day of the OPD got an overwhelming response from people as a total of 267 patients registered themselves for appointments with doctors. The Geriatric OPD would be operational on Sundays, registration for doctor appointments would be on a walk-in basis though the online option too is available, registration can be done between 9 to 11:30 A.M. and OPD hours are 9:30 to 12:30 p.m.
The inaugural day saw five specialty departments are rendering services to the elderly specific OPD these departments include General surgery, ENT, Eye, Medicine and Orthopedics. Four of these five departments i.e. -General surgery, ENT, Eye, Medicine are located at the New OPD building whereas orthopedic services are rendered at the Central Institute of Orthopedics (CIO).
Dr Pankaj Ranjan, in charge of the Geriatric OPD explained how this OPD is different from general OPD’s “We aim to ensure that the seniors are given as much comfort and assistance as possible; when they arrive at the new OPD building there are guards to escort them and attend to their queries, wheelchairs and stretchers are provided in good numbers for those who need them. There are multiple registration counters at the registration hall and the patients don’t need to stand there as there are chairs kept uptil the counter itself. We try to ensure that the patients don’t need to visit the hospital again and again hence the tests and investigations like CT Scan, X-rays, ultrasound and blood samples are done at the same day of consultation with the doctor. Also at the dispensary we aim to provide the full course of the medicines so that they don’t need to visit again just for medicines.”