Eye OPDs can restart operations, says All-India Ophthalmological Society in new guidelines

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Updated: May 14, 2020 6:39:30 PM

Earlier, the guidelines only allowed ophthalmologists to perform surgical procedures only in case of emergencies, but the revised policy has suggested that they can perform elective surgeries also.

All-India Ophthalmological society, AIOS, AIOS guidelines, guidelines for ophthalmologists, are eye clinics open?, eye surgeries during coronavirus, ophthalmologistsThe guidelines have also urged the doctors to explore options like teleconsultation. (Representational image)

Eye OPDs to start functioning! The All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) recently issued updated guidelines to ensure the provision of safe and effective services to the people without any violation of statutory and ethical mandates. The updated guidelines now allow all eye-care centres to restart their clinical activities, including surgeries, diagnosis, OPD and IPD facilities, except those clinics which are operating in areas classified as containment zones by the government.

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Earlier, the guidelines only allowed ophthalmologists to perform surgical procedures only in case of emergencies, but the revised policy has suggested that they can perform elective surgeries also. However, they would need to take all the required precautions. This is being done keeping in mind the possibility of the increase in the number of patients suffering from cataract or blindness due to various reasons.

In a statement, AIOS President and Chairman of the Centre for Sight Group of Hospitals Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev has been quoted as saying that the guidelines aim to ensure that patients also strictly adhere to the social distancing norms and adhere to the protocols laid out by the hospitals. He was further quoted as saying that the society has suggested that ophthalmologists should avoid holding any outreach camps at or taking mobile vans to orange and red zones so that patients do not gather. Moreover, the guidelines have also urged the doctors to explore options like teleconsultation and tele-ophthalmology for patients in areas which cannot be reached easily.

These guidelines have been drafted after inputs and opinions of several experts in sub-specialties were taken from India as well as abroad. The guidelines have also annexed the guidelines issued by the government from time to time. Moreover, the guidelines state that authorities and local administration have the supreme authority over the matter.

The guidelines take into account the current available information on the COVID-19 pandemic and all the suggestions have been drafted to encourage doctors to take proper precautions in that light. It has also understood the dynamic nature of the unfolding pandemic, and has warranted for appropriate changes as the situation evolves. The guidelines state that all patients are required to wear masks, wash their hands and follow social distancing norms while in the hospital.

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