Hyderabad: The closure of homeopathy clinics in Telangana during the lockdown inconvenienced doctors and patients. While patients suffered due to a lack of proper medication, doctors faced problems with online consultations.
“I am diabetic and allergic to allopathy,” said Jobe Sirra, who suffered as homeopathy clinics were closed. He has been on homeopathic medication for three years now.
Many other patients like Jobe had to face inconvenience due to unavailability of proper medication. Namrata, a software engineer, said just two months before the lockdown she started taking homeopathy medicines for sinusitis. It was a six-month course.
“Every month, I go to the clinic and get my medicines, but as the lockdown was imposed in the state, I couldn’t get my medicines,” she informed The Observer. “Moreover, homeopathic medicines are not easily available as any other English (allopathic) medicines.”
Dr. Lavanya. B.R, who runs a homeopathy clinic in Hyderabad, said online consultations weren’t easy at all. “I understand the patients’ problems better when I see and examine them.” It was difficult for her to treat patients with dermatological problems “They sent me pictures of the affected area, but it was hard for me to judge the problem by examining pictures.”
Dr. Sridhar Reddy, another homeopath, said his clinic incurred a huge loss during the lockdown. “I talk to my patients on WhatsApp and try to resolve their issues.” However, patients are not satisfied.
Gururaj Govardhan, a driver, said he has been using homeopathic medicines for migraine. He ran out of medication during the lockdown and couldn’t buy it. “Initially, I suffered a lot. Later, with no option left, and in unbearable pain, I was forced to take allopathic medicines.”
Chaitanya TV, PRO of Telangana health minister Etala Rajendra, said the decision to close homeopathy clinics was taken as a precautionary measure. “People may mistake Covid-19 for common fever and visit these clinics, which do not have facilities for testing and treating Covid-19….” The decision was especially taken considering people in rural areas who are not fully aware of the virus.
Dr. A. Rajendar Reddy, a retired director of the Telangana Ayush department, said it was not a good idea to close homeopathy clinics. “Wine shops reopened before homeopathy clinics. How fair is that?”
To help patients, Dr. Lavanya and Dr. Sridhar used to pack medicines in boxes with the patient’s name on it and keep the boxes in the cellar of their apartments. Patients would come and collect the respective boxes and pay the fee online. Jobe said that this arrangement helped him to get a few medicines at the time of lockdown.
Dr. Rajender Reddy said the clinics should have been reopened with precautions in place. The government’s decision to close clinics did not reduce the number of cases.
With Unlock 5.0 in Telangana, almost everything has opened up. Homeopathy doctors are expecting an increase in the number of patients visiting their clinics. Although the number of cases are decreasing, experts are wary of a second coronavirus wave.