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8am to 8pm: Health Ministry calls for 12 hour OPD at Govt Hospitals, Safdarjung Hospital to be pilot

8am to 8pm: Health Ministry calls for 12 hour OPD at Govt Hospitals, Safdarjung Hospital to be pilot

Delhi: In order to provide round the clock healthcare services in government hospitals, the Union Health Ministry has proposed to extend Out- Patient Department (OPD) timings to provide 12-hour OPD services.

For carrying out the proposal, a pilot project has been initiated at Safdarjung Hospital as per which the OPD timings in the hospital have been extended from 8 am to 8 pm.

In the letter to the hospital’s authorities, the union health ministry enlisted the departments which would be covered first under the project which include- medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology and surgery.

“OPD services in Safdarjung have to be implemented within the available resources except paramedical and supportive staff,” the ministry directed the hospitals.

The departments involved in the pilot project have been requested to explore the possibilities and prepare a fresh proposal for the same, and send it to the coordination section within two days, read the letter sent by the ministry on July 11.

Confirming the move, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Rajendra Sharma, told TOI, “We have asked all departments concerned to give their feedback on the proposal.”

The move has indeed not gone well with the resident doctors who stated that without a massive effort form the government in the area of hiring and manpower enhancement, the whole burden is going to fall on existing resident doctors. Speaking to HT, Vice-president of Safdarjung Hospital Resident Doctors’ Association Dr Prakash Chandra Thakur said that they are opposed to the move.

 “We do not have staff to run OPD from 9am to 4pm. How can the hospital expect to run 12-hour OPDs? We will submit our representation against the proposal on Saturday to the health ministry,” he added.

“There’s need for at least 50% increase in the number of doctors in all departments that run a 12-hour OPD,” Dr Anubhava Sangwan, President of the Resident’s Doctors Association at Safdarjung hospital, told HT.

Safdarjung alone sees a daily footfall of around 8000 patients. The hospital already has an evening clinic that runs from 2 pm to 4pm for the busiest specialities such as medicine, but most of the people come between 8 am and 2 pm. Recently , the NABH filing a report on the hospital before the Delhi High Court pointed out said in the Safdarjung Hospital there were 1,531 sanctioned beds and 300 floor beds, yet it had admitted 2,148 patients as it cannot deny admission and this can result in the spread of infections.

The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), a private body which comes under the Quality Council of India (QCI), further  told the court that the three hospitals it had examined were overcrowded and several sanctioned posts of doctors were lying vacant.

Read Also: Working hours for doctors, doctor-patient ratio have to be fixed: Delhi High Court tells govt

In an attempt to decongest hospitals, last year, the Delhi government extended the out-patient clinics by two hours. “It had an impact, no doubt… but the hours were increased without increasing the number of doctors, nurses and paramedics, and the existing staff had to put in more hours,” said Dr Pankaj Solanki, head of the National Doctor’s Front.

“The government cannot start a project without capacity building. More doctors, nurses and even pharmacists and lab technicians are needed,” he added.


Source: with inputs
12 comment(s) on 8am to 8pm: Health Ministry calls for 12 hour OPD at Govt Hospitals, Safdarjung Hospital to be pilot

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  1. 12hour opd can be done if doctors are to work in shifts like the nurses. Maximum 48hrs a week is the limit as per supreme court and labour laws. So, let them give the mandatory duty offs…doctors cannot be exploited in the name of medicine, healer, next to god etc.. also they should realise that the doctors efficiency and performance will decline as he /she become tired and exhausted so the move will be counterproductive if implemented with available staff.

  2. We are suffering because associations which represent us do not have agenda n vision particularly IMA
    Why IMA not asking government to fix duty hours across the country to be 42 hours a week as in other countries like UK and European Union.
    Are doctors animal? Beat them,harras them,jail them,defame them n ask them to serve in name of humanity

  3. Fine with the number of hours, but make sure that the government doesn\’t cross the limit of 48 hours a week. Then it has to give 3 full day off to each doctor every week. Delhi high court judgement says that you can\’t make a doctor work round the clock and the limit should not exceed 48.hours per week

  4. user
    Dr Ramesh Vardhan July 16, 2018, 7:10 pm

    8 SM to 8PM IT\’S ONLY 12 HOURS, HOW CAN OT BE 24 HOURS ???. BY THE WHO IS GOING TO WORK FOR 12 HOURS DAILY . DO YOU THE LIFEEXPECTANCY OF INDIAN DOCTORS ARE ONLY 59 YEARS . IF THEY ARE FORCED / COMPLLED WORK FOR 12 hours Daily , They are more likely to Kick the bucket much early. Ram namsatyahai. This may be the CROOKED Idea of the BABUS THE BUREAUCRACTES, I don\’t think minister can so mean. On the lighter side let me suggest BABUS to work 22 hours to clear the dusty files pailed up catching dust in those ugly shelves. Similarly judiciary work 12 + hours to clear long pending cases , more 3000000000( 3 CRORE) with this pace it takes more than 300 Years. Too many cooks spoil the broth and too crooks destroy the Nation. Keep away the BABUS THE BUREAUCRACTES , bring in technocrats / PROFESSIONALS. Otherwise India will remain a third world country only. In Pakistan it\’s their Army and India our BUEROCRATES causing maximum damage .

  5. OPD from 2& then 4PM to reasonable as Drs will sit in OPD to b waiting for the pts and valuables time will b wasted Same set of Drs will nt run the OPD but will cover evening opd next day and two sets of Drs will b needed as surgery & gynaecology&surgery dept has operative/delivaries etc in addition to Opds so one can\’t expect same set for full day for opd
    Already HEALTH GDP is negligible which nds2b expanded 2 cover wages of manpower U can employ retired healthy drs for helping regular staff & take their experience as an advantage to health system as they r sitting idle in their retired life if they still feels that they can work why it can\’t b considered