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Unnecessary patient referrals from districts causing burden on doctors at tertiary-care hospitals

Right To Health: Mistaken for healthcare
Unnecessary patient referrals from districts causing burden on doctors at tertiary-care hospitals

SRINAGAR: Unnecessary referrals of patients from districts continue to put a burden on men and machinery at the tertiary-care hospitals.

Doctors posted at the tertiary-care hospitals in Srinagar told that unnecessary referrals of patients from sub-district and district hospitals are a matter of concern.

“We receive dozens of patients on a daily basis who can be managed at sub-district and district hospitals easily but are being referred here,” said a doctor at SMHS Hospital here.

He said there is a difference in facilities available at district hospitals and tertiary-care hospitals but most of the time around 30 to 50 percent of patients are being referred unnecessarily.

Doctors at LD Hospital said, “Though the hospital is the valley’s largest tertiary-care Gynaecology and Obstetrics facility, that doesn’t mean you have to refer every case here to put pressure on limited resources.”

They said that despite government orders to avoid unnecessary referrals, they continue to receive 20 to 40 referral cases per day and among them, only 50 percent are genuine while the rest are uncertain and can be easily managed at primary health centre, sub-district and district hospitals.

“Besides unnecessary referrals, pregnant ladies come here for check-ups from far-off places. They could easily visit peripheral hospitals for check-ups in their districts,” they said, adding, “This puts pressure on infrastructure as well as manpower and often delays treatment to the patients in need.”

So far, the government has issued many circulars to avoid unnecessary referrals but the ground situation remains the same, doctors rued. They said the government has already improved the infrastructure status of peripheral hospitals and the need is for further improvement so that the doctors won’t give any excuse and unnecessary referrals can be avoided.

The government had ordered an audit of all referrals from district-level hospitals to tertiary-care hospitals in order to optimise the manpower available in peripheries and patient services across the healthcare system.

“There must be monitoring committees in place in all hospitals which must have the power to take the call whether to refer the patient or not, otherwise this issue won’t get resolved,” the doctors said—(KNO)


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Unnecessary patient referrals from districts causing burden on doctors at tertiary-care hospitals