Patients flock to AIIMS; state units fail to cut queue

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Long wait for cure-I (Series)

By Alka Jain

New Delhi, September 15: Rajeev Gupta stood exasperated, worries writ large on face, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AAIMS) in the national capital. He had prayers on his lips as he asked for anyone who looked to be a staff of AIIMS for ways to get an appointment.

Gupta has stood for the queue whole night. But that was of no help, as he was crowded out by a sea of attendants of patients at the AIIMS. His hope that the crowd must have diminished at the AIIMs in the national capital. Gupta had read that the Central government had set up a number of AIIMS in various states.

But he got the rude shock, for the patients at AIIMS in the national capital have to wait for weeks and months to meet the doctors even if they are suffering from critical ailments.

For days that he made rounds of the blocks at the AIIMS, Gupta found that patients with severe as well as basic health issues are also flocking to Delhi, with attendants lining up as early as 3 am, while numerous people sleep on the pavements.

“We have come here from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. My brother-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer and the doctors asked us to go to AIIMS Delhi for treatment. We came here on September 3 for an appointment, but they told us to come on 14th September. But today also, they are asking us to come for an appointment on 20th,” said Gupta.

His worry is growing manifold, for Gupta’s brother-in-law is now at the stage 5 of cancer.

“We are being asked to come again and again for the appointment. They are not understanding the serious conditions of his health. It takes us about five hours to come here. In UP, AIIMS is not that much developed, which just looks like Delhi AIIMS, but there are not enough facilities. That is why doctors have recommended us to visit Delhi AIIMS,” Gupta added.

Angad Singh Chauhan came all the way from Aurangabad in Bihar. He’s attending to a patient who has multiple stones. In fact, treatment for removing stones should have been available at local hospitals.

But he too stood for hours in the long queue outside OPD at AIIMS in the national capital.

“My sister was diagnosed with multiple stones in the kidney, but doctors performed surgery only for one stone. They told us to consult doctors at Delhi AIIMS. We have not visited AIIMS Gorakhpur, because it is new and there are very less facilities. There are a limited number of machines and less-experienced doctors. It has a similar building like Delhi AIIMS, but not enough treatment is available,” he said.

Singh said that AIIMS Delhi provides good treatment, but it lacks the number of doctors as compared to the number of patients here because people from every state still prefer to come here for the treatment.

(To be continued…)

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