Amid crowded fever clinics, patients urged to use Internet service, grassroots facilities

Amid crowded fever clinics, patients urged to use Internet service, grassroots facilities

Amidst overcrowded fever clinics, patients are encouraged to use internet service, podiatry facilities

Ti Gong

Patients line up outside the fever clinic of Xinhua Hospital in Shanghai on Wednesday.

Local district and city-level hospitals’ fever clinics are facing continued pressure amid a surge in the number of patients in Shanghai and a shortage of medical staff, many of whom are themselves sick from COVID-19.

To deal with the situation, local health authorities are encouraging patients to use the Internet hospital service for consultation and medicine prescription and to open more fever clinics at neighborhood health centers by allocating more resources to grassroots facilities.

Wednesday was the first day when no nucleic acid test results were required for emergency and outpatient services in Shanghai. Hospitals said they had designated special staff to take charge of patients, including directing those with high temperatures to the fever clinic.

Due to the pandemic, outpatient departments have fewer patients while fever clinics are crowded.

Xinhua Hospital, one of the leading public hospitals in Shanghai, has separate fever clinics for adults and for children. The adult clinic received about 700 patients and the children’s clinic saw more than 400 patients a day, both figures much higher than a week ago.

Hospital officials said Monday afternoon they opened a second fever clinic for adults with six more consultation rooms and prepared more beds for seriously ill COVID19 patients. Critical patients are sent to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The waiting time varies at different hospitals, in accordance with nearby medical resources. Patients have to wait less than an hour at some hospitals, while at others the wait can be more than two hours.

Xinhua Hospital, with the city’s leading pediatric facility, said pediatric patients may have to wait up to four hours during peak hours.

Amidst overcrowded fever clinics, patients are encouraged to use internet service, podiatry facilities

Ti Gong

Parents escort their children to the pediatric fever clinic at Xinhua Hospital.

“The biggest concern is to ensure the proper operation of fever clinics and treatment of serious patients. All departments have prepared teams to support the fever clinics,” said Dr Zou Heng, vice director of Xinhua Hospital’s emergency and outpatient department.

“Doctors at both the emergency department and fever clinics consult about patients’ conditions and conduct detailed examinations to judge whether the patient should remain for observation. Some patients are hospitalized directly in the emergency department.”

Officials from Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital said its fever clinic receives about 1,000 patients each day. Doctors from different departments support the medical staff in the front line.

Hospital officials said patients with mild symptoms should get good rest, visit neighborhood health centers and take medicine at home instead of queuing up outside hospitals altogether. Only people with persistent high fever for days or other serious symptoms should go to the major hospital.

International hospitals are also full of patients.

Officials from Shanghai Jiahui International Hospital said that its emergency and fever clinic receives more than 200 patients every day; 80 percent of their fever victims.

Due to the large number of patients and a shortage of staff due to the infection, patients have to wait for two hours during peak hours.

“Our nurses classify patients according to each one’s condition to ensure safety and medical procedure. The hospitalization rate has also reached 85 percent,” said Dr. John Hsiang, president of the hospital.

To ease the pressure on the clinic, the hospital started offering consultation for adults and children with fever. His internet hospital has more than 100 online consultations every day. The majority seek advice on fever and 40 percent are expatriate patients.

Shanghai United Family Hospital also said it is also operating at full speed despite the increasing number of patients and the wards are only used for sick pregnant women and those with serious conditions.

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