CHENNAI: Medical professionals who practice in niche areas like ENT, dentistry, physiotherapy, etc. are facing a hard time as the fear of infection and financial shortage is keeping patients away. “My clinic was shut for two months. When I reopened in June for 20 days, I did not even have a single patient. Due to which, I had to close my clinic again.
This is the scene at most of the dental clinics. I have now posted a staff at the clinic who would call me whenever a patient walks in. As against the usual 15-25 patients, we are now seeing only about 3-4 a day,” said Dr J Arun, who runs a dental clinic in Adambakkam.
Rightly so, the public say they do not want to visit a hospital unless it is an emergency. “Hygiene has always been an issue with a lot of dental clinics. Given the pandemic, it is not just a matter of cleanliness, but life.
So, for problems like toothache, cavities or bleeding gums, we are not visiting the doctor. Now that the cases are reducing, we may soon have the confidence to step out freely,” said a 36-year-old Priya Darshini from Teynampet.
A section of dentists and ENT specialists are offering tele-consultaion instead of going to the hospital.
An ENT specialist who practices at a private hospital in the city, on condition of anonymity, said, “The new normal is e-consultation. As long as the condition is not serious, we are recommending the patients to contact us online. This is safe for both the doctors and the patients.” However, for physio-therapists, tele-consultation is not an option most of the times as the therapist must help the patient physically.