M R Bangur Hospital has become the first government Covid facility to introduce virtual visiting hours for its patients. Since Monday, patients in isolation wards have been interacting with their families on video-calls on mobiles provided by doctors and nurses.
Days after the state health department issued a notification, restricting the use of mobiles inside Covid-treatment facilities, MR Bangur Hospital, the biggest such establishment in Bengal, took this initiative to help its patients. AMRI Salt Lake, a private Covid hospital, started it last week. “Since Monday, we have been helping our patients in isolation wards connect with their families virtually,” Partha Guha, superintendent on deputation at M R Bangur, told TOI on Tuesday. Guha (43), superintendent of Salt Lake subdivisional hospital, is currently on deputation to help MR Bangur superintendent Sisir Naskar. “For now, patients are video-calling through doctors’ and nurses’ smartphones. In a day or two, we will have tablets in each isolation ward,” Guha said. There are four isolation wards. “Each patient is allowed to speak to his or her family for two minutes during the visiting hours from 4pm to 6pm,” he said. Patients can also make calls from cordless phones.
The health department order issued last week had said intercom could be used for communication between patients and families, through nurses.
“It is important not only to cure but also to care. Along with the antiviral or antibiotic treatment, a strong dose of empathy goes a long way in helping eople recover,” Guha said, who had an audio message by a Medical College and Hospital health worker, Somnath Das. “I have been admitted to MR Bangur since April 13. I am being well looked after, but today I want to express my gratitude for doctors and nurses organizing this video-call with my family…” Das said in the message.
Guha added: “The most moving thing is the sudden change in the patients’ body language. Before the call, they look dispirited, but their face lights up when they see their families.”
Source: Times of India