Treatment for non-COVID patients hit amidst focus on COVID: Study

Doctors urged that those who were neglected must be given medical attention at the earliest

New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on most spheres of clinical practice, including the outpatient attendance and elective surgeries, revealed a study by a team at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here on Friday.

The team conducted an observational study on 6,77,237 cases (599,281 outpatient and 77,956 hospital admissions) and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various medical and surgical specialties for the entire duration, since the onset of the pandemic, and compared it with the preceding pre-pandemic period (June 1, 2019-March 31, 2020).

The findings, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, showed that attendance of both new and follow-up cases dropped by 57.65 per cent. The outpatient cases attendance saw a significant reduction of 89.2 per cent, followed by a reduction of 80.75 per cent in surgical work.

Further, COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on both the hospital’s major medical and surgical specialties.

Bariatric surgery (87.5 per cent) and ophthalmology (65.45 per cent) were affected the most and general surgery (32.28 per cent), and neurosurgery the least.

“The only medical specialty that saw more patients has respiratory medicine with a significant increase of 314.04 per cent, in admissions because of COVID-19,” Apollo Hospitals Group Medical Director, and Senior Consultant, Paediatric Gastroenterology Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Anupam Sibal, said.

“Healthcare providers must factor in the impact of fear which results in patients ignoring their healthcare needs which can be detrimental,” Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, Managing Diirector M.P. Shivakumar said.

The doctors urged that those who were neglected must be given medical attention at the earliest.

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