With no COVID-19 cases at Nizamia, patients seek resumption of non-COVID services

Hyderabad: With no cases of COVID-19 being reported at the Nizamia Hospital, which functioned as a level-1 quarantine center since March, patients with different ailments are seeking non-COVID medical services to resume for their in-patient treatment. The hospital has remained vacant for more than four months now.

Popularly called the Unani Hospital or Charminar Dawakhana, Nizamia hospital is the only Unani hospital in the city that shut its regular services after the Ministry of AYUSH turned it into a level-1 quarantine center. Only eight others in the city, all of them state-run—including Gandhi Hospital, TIMS, King Koti Hospital, Fever Hospital, Chest Hospital, Ayurveda Hospital, Nature Cure Hospital and Homeo Hospital—were turned to specialized COVID-19 hospitals in March.

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Govt Nizamia General Hospital and Tibbi College at Charminar in Hyderabad.

However, none of the nine hospitals is a nodal center for COVID-19 cases now. Gandhi Hospital, the apex tertiary hospital of the state, has also resumed non-COVID services on November 21. Only Nizamia Hospital and Tibbi College is yet to start treating regular patients, much to their dismay.

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According to doctors of Nizamia, the AYUSH department earlier this month ordered them to start seeing out-patients but did not ask them to resume the hospital’s in-patients services.

On average (pre-COVID), 1,200 out-patients visit Nizamia hospital daily, including over 150 seeking gynecology consultation. However, the 180-bedded hospital majorly treated paralytic patients.

Abdul Raheem, a paralytic patient at the hospital, said, “I was undergoing treatment in the hospital before the pandemic started and I was discharged from the hospital as its services were closed and ever since I am consulting concerned doctor-on-call.” Raheem is currently taking therapy treatment at a private hospital and is dependent on antibiotics and painkillers. He is one of the 250-300 paralysis patients waiting for the in-patient services to resume.

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“We paralytic patients are facing problems as the treatment in private hospitals is costly,” said another patient who came to get admitted in the hospital, but returned with a disappointment.

Dr. Hyder Yamani, an assistant professor and a representative of TS Unani Medical Office Association said, “Though Charminar MLA Mumtaz Ahmed Khan asked the AYUSH authorities to resume in-patients, no orders have been passed to resume non-COVID services here.”

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