The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Bhopal has an outpatient department but is closed on Sundays. What is more surprising is that the institute does not have an emergency department.
Any healthcare institute that provides specialised treatment has an emergency unit where patients are admitted and treated round-the-clock, seven days a week, but the AIIMS in Bhopal does not have the basic facility.
On Sunday mornings, doctors and paramedical staff are rarely seen inside the premier hospital, says a patient, who does not wish to be named.
“Even on weekdays you hardly find doctors in the OPD and what is worse is that the hospital authorities close the registration counter by 10 am,” the patient said.
“The AIIMS in Bhopal is on the outskirts of the city so by the time one reaches the hospital, it is already late and authorities refuse give you an appointment slip.”
The popularity of AIIMS is fading as lesser numbers of patients from city visit the institute for treatment, said an official at the hospital.
“There are very few doctors to man the OPD at the hospital so people have stopped coming here,” says the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Though people from smaller districts from neighbouring states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh turn up due to the brand name of AIIMS but most of the patients are referred to the Hamidia hospital,” the officials tells Hindustan Times.
This is quite shocking that a premier specialised healthcare institute like the AIIMS refers patients to a state government-run hospital for treatment but a source at the hospital confirms that due to non-availability of a proper blood bank and emergency department, all emergency cases are referred to the Hamidia hospital.
“If you meet a fatal accident, you might get a first-aid at the AIIMS but patients are forced to go elsewhere as there is no trauma centre for serious accident cases,” the source said.
Sad but true, that a premier national institute, that should provide specialised healthcare services, does not have facilities provided by even a district hospital, say medical experts.
Even district hospitals have emergency department to cater patients round-the-clock, they say.
Balakrishnan S, dean at the AIIMS, admitted that institute does have enough facilities to operate a round-the-clock emergency department. “If an ambulance arrives, someone will always be there to handle the situation during the day time as wards are operational,” he said.