According to a NATHEALTH survey, 57 per cent of patients had cancelled/postponed their treatment plans as they were anxious to access healthcare facilities amidst the pandemic
NATHEALTH has released a report on the “Impact of COVID-19 on patient behaviour towards accessing healthcare facilities.”
The report highlights some significant findings following a survey to understand patient readiness to return to their routine hospital visits and treatments. This survey was conducted in Jan-Feb 2021 with a sample size of 2,134 patients with different treatment needs across metros, tier-I and tier-II geographical settings in India.
The survey classified patients under three categories: patients with planned elective surgeries, patients requiring support from the hospital inpatient department (IPD) and patients requiring frequent doctor visits in the hospital OPDs.
The result of the survey tells that on an overall level, 57%, that is more than half of the surveyed patients, cancelled/postponed/rescheduled their treatment plan during the period of March-December 2020, while 100 per cent of the elective surgery patients cancelled/postponed/rescheduled their surgeries. Apart from it, 34 per cent of OPD patients cancelled/rescheduled their OPD visits to the hospitals.
Of the patients who cancelled/postponed their treatment, 62 per cent patients believed that their health condition has been negatively impacted, 82 per cent patients wished to reschedule/return to their treatment plan by June 2021, 95 per cent of the patients wished to continue their treatment with the same hospital, two per cent patients opted for home healthcare services and 98 per cent patients medically managed their condition at home with doctor’s advice.
Moreover, 50 per cent patients engaged in teleconsultations with their healthcare providers during the complete lockdown phase.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Harsh Mahajan, President, NATHEALTH and Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging, said, “In the last few weeks, continued focus on COVID tests and treatments have reduced attention on non-communicable diseases, non-COVID surgeries, treatments and consultations by private healthcare providers. It is vital for healthcare delivery centres to communicate to patients to not delay their treatment and avail non-COVID services related to tests, screenings and consultations. A delay will only lead to further health complications in the midst of the ongoing pandemic by resulting in another catastrophe. Patients must be made aware that they can opt for e-consults and professional at home healthcare services. According to the survey, only two per cent patients have opted for it. Furthermore, doctor’s advice must be sought regularly through teleconsultations.”