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Original Research

RMJ. 2023; 48(4): 981-985

Challenges faced by surgical services during Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan

Tariq Zahid Khan, Sana Kazmi, Madiha Khan, Sana Mehfooz, Tehmina Junaid, Rajesh Kumar Vasandani.


Objective: To assess the impact of Covid-19 on healthcare provision, to investigate how the surgical teams adapted to this challenge and to identify ways in which we could enhance the quality of care provided to the patients in case we come across such challenges again in future.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study gathered data from three major tertiary care hospitals. A questionnaire having three sections was administered to record the general characteristics of the surgical setups and subsequent changes due to Covid-19 infection, the extent of provision of PPEs and their adherence and the impact of Covid-19 on the surgical setups.
Results: A total of 46 different surgical departments were assessed. General surgery was contributor at 19.6%, followed by gynecology/obstetrics, trauma and orthopedics, and urology, each contributing 10.9%. More than half (52.2) setups reported that they had to convert their ward to covid ward. Shortage of staff, along with adverse effects on residents’ training and suboptimal use of telemedicine was also found.
Conclusion: With elective procedures halted, the backlog of surgeries significantly increased, and the education of residents and students was adversely affected. With adequate use of telemedicine, surgical services can be dispensed to some extent. Alternative ways to replace interactive surgical learning should be searched for.

Key words: Surgical service, COVID-19, telemedicine.

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