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City’s General Hospital to start non-Covid treatment soon

It has been several months since the General Hospital was upgraded as a second-line treatment centre for Covid-19 patients. 

Published: 29th December 2020 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2020 06:44 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the number of Covid-19 cases dropping in the capital, the district health authorities are planning to restart treatment for diseases other than coronavirus infection at the hospital. The facility is currently a dedicated Covid-19 care centre, providing medical care for Category B patients

It has been several months since the General Hospital was upgraded as a second-line treatment centre for Covid-19 patients. Currently, there are around 3,482 active coronavirus cases in the district and around 160 patients are under treatment at the hospital. Several speciality services offered by the hospital have been stalled to facilitate Covid-19 treatment in the last few months, leaving hundreds of patients from economically backward families in the lurch. 

General Hospital caters to nearly 75,000 out-patients and 15,000 in-patients every month.Though a Cath Lab was inaugurated at the facility recently, it is yet to become beneficial to the public.  According to sources, the hospital will start taking non-Covid patients in the next two weeks. “We have discussed it with the District Medical Officer. Our plan is to introduce non-Covid treatment in a phased manner. We will resume the services by January 15,” said an official, adding that there is a slight spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the past week.

“Though there is a slight surge, the figures are not alarming. We used to have only around 110 patients until a week ago. Now we have 160,” said the official. As the first step, the hospital authorities have decided to clear the surgical block, and start treatment for other diseases there. Cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, nephrology and neurology treatments are otherwise provided at the General Hospital. Patients used to depend on the facility for physical medicine and rehabilitation, respiratory medicine, skin, ENT, ophthalmology, radiology and pediatrics.

Surgeries to resume
Surgical procedures which have been stalled are also expected to resume soon. Health Minister KK Shylaja inaugurated the Cath Lab and cardiac ICU set up at a cost of `7.5 crore last October.  “Before we got the Cath Lab, we used to refer the patients to Medical College Hospital. Private hospitals charge huge sums for procedures including angiogram and angioplasty. Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to provide new facilities to patients yet,” said an official. 

“Private hospitals charge a minimum of `75,000 for a simple procedure like angioplasty. We will be able to give the same treatment at a basic cost of stent. They will not be charged for the procedures,” said the official. Joseph Chacko, state president, Kerala Government Medical Officers Association, said that it is high time the state gave priority to both Covid patients and those suffering from other ailments. 

“Covid-19 is here to stay. Even after vaccines are administered, there would be random cases. It’s not fair to block treatment for patients who might be suffering from more life-threatening diseases. Many people have postponed their treatment and surgeries. The state has to come up with a clear plan for handling this,” said Joseph.


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