Srinagar: As Kashmir valley focuses excessively on COVID-19, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said it is harrowing time for people with other diseases and conditions.
“Patients with non-covid health problems face immense hardships,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“People are not getting health care for other problems,” he said.
Dr Nisar said patients with acute or chronic illness who regularly need to see their doctors are not doing so.
“It is not just fear that is keeping people out of hospitals, but the perception that hospitals are closed for all non-covid patients,” he said.
“Patients are told that there are no resources and staff to provide care for non-covid patients and that everything is deferred,” he added.
Dr Nisar said we have come across with many instances of patients not seeking medical attention even for emergencies. Many people are dying at home – and some of them have treatable condition.
“We see patients with heart attacks, strokes presenting late with all complications leading to delayed intervention and recovery,’ he said.
“Also, patients with acute abdominal conditions like appendicitis, cholecystitis due to gall stones present late with perforation, peritonitis and sepsis, needing emergency surgery and prolonged stay in ICU because of delay in seeking treatment,” he added.
Dr Nisar said patients with diabetes and hypertension present acutely with complications because they don’t seek medical attention early in case of abnormal levels.
“Cancer patients are coming with spread of their disease because cancer surgeries have beenpostponed,” he said.
Dr Nisar said we must understand that amid the outbreak, people still get heart attacks, strokes. Babies will still be born and appendixes will still burst.
“Health authorities need to get the message out that hospitals are taking care of non-COVID patients and they have system in place to protect them,” he said.
“As we fight covid-19, health care providers should make sure that other patients are seen in hospitals. The pandemic toll will be much worse if it leads people avoid care for other life-threatening, yet treatable conditions,” said Dr Nisar.
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