A spike in the number of dengue cases being reported from the city has meant that the Delhi government’s fever clinics in 55 of its dispensaries are running at full capacity.
The doctors at these clinics have their hands full and are even being forced to work on their weekly offs.
The government’s fever clinics function from seven in the morning to nine at night on weekdays, Sundays and even on public holidays. The two doctors present at a dispensary are taking turns in doing morning and evening shifts daily.
“Usually there are two doctors present in a dispensary. But after the fever clinics opened, they are working throughout the day in shifts. Although, there are not too many people in the evening shift, the numbers in the morning OPDs has gone up,” said Dr Karuna Singh, a doctor at the Mayur Vihar Phase III dispensary. On an average, the doctor said she has to see 250-300 patients in the morning OPD.
In contrast, the dispensary is visited by only around 20 to 30 people in the evening.
“I had to report at my dispensary last Sunday for a dengue awareness camp and this Sunday they have given me an evening shift in the fever clinic in this dispensary. I have been continuously working for 14 days now,” said Dr Meenal Sharma, who is posted at Jagatpuri dispensary and was given additional duty at the dispensary in Mayur Vihar Phase I.
The doctors, however, felt that the fever clinics were beneficial. “Most of the cases that we receive here are not serious. We just need to give them paracetamol and in some cases monitor their platelet count. This reduces the pressure on the hospitals,” said Dr Nivedita Chakroborty, posted at Karkardooma dispensary. The dispensary saw almost 100 patients in the morning shift even on a Sunday.
The patients are also at ease while visiting the dispensary, feels Dr Sharma. “There is a lot of crowding in the hospitals. People prefer to come here because the lines are not that long and they receive treatment sooner,” she said.