Shut private clinics cause for concern

COVID-19 Health

Private clinics have been closed to avoid large gatherings.

By Archita Chakraborty

With private clinics being shut down, citizens are worried whether they’ll be able to survive the dangers of other diseases, besides the Coronavirus.

“The biggest problem faced by those who aren’t infected by the virus is the unavailability of other doctors. As someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, no therapist or psychiatrist is available for therapy sessions because of the lockdown, and I am suffering immensely as a result of that. We need all kinds of doctors available, especially during this time,” said Deepika Shetty, a college student from Bengaluru.

Deepika highlighted the lack of availability of medicines related to mental illnesses., “Not all medications are in stock, and those that need to be shipped across states are not always available for purchase as the shipment is getting delayed. I got my medications three weeks later, which was hugely problematic for me,” she added.

Dr. Sanjid from Malappuram said, “The whole pandemic is so sudden and we have to fight it together. I kept my clinic closed especially to avoid the gathering of my patients. But every day I get 20-30 calls from them and I have to give them advice via phone or WhatsApp. There is no other way.”

As the doctors are unavailable in their chambers during this time, routine check-ups are not possible and several senior citizens who have diabetes, heart disease or other problems, are having trouble getting the help that they need.

“My father has high blood pressure (BP) and for the past few months, he has done several tests and is under medications. His BP is fluctuating every now and then, but all I can do is keep him under the medications prescribed until this is over. Due to this lockdown, we are unable to contact his regular doctor, whose clinic is near my house. He is not available,” said the daughter of a 65-year old patient from HSR Layout.

It is getting difficult to find local pediatricians for newborn babies and toddlers who suffer from various health problems. Mother of two-year-old Adrija from Kolkata said, “My daughter was suffering from severe stomach pain but we couldn’t find any clinic open. After two or three days, we went to a private hospital when the situation got worse.”

Dr. Archnesh Roy Choudhury, a medical officer from Kolkata said, “Due to this situation doctors who run private clinics are currently not opening their chambers to avoid gatherings but the regular patients can always contact them via phone and take advice if they need any.”

Angshuman Chakraborty, a dentist from Kolkata said, “It has been more than three weeks since the dental chambers are closed and patients are forced to be in pain as no dental procedure is possible, which is highly risky for contamination.”

“My friends in other medical fields have also shut down their private clinical practices and thus, their patients are facing great difficulty for getting any sort of treatment as well. However, online and telephone consultations are being carried. We are trying our best to aid our patients but we have to be very careful for our own and everyone else’s safety,” said Dr. Angshuman.

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