Patient rush at PGI baffles doctors from United States

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2015 10:47 IST

A delegation of prominent doctors from different hospitals in the United States, who visited the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, found the Emergency ward of the institute like a “madly crowded railway station”.

The delegation, comprising nine reputed scientists of different disciplines, had visited the PGIMER last week with the aim of identifying areas to foster collaborations with the institute. Adam Cohen, senior vice president, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, wrote in The Oklahoman: “With a reputation for top-notch treatment, the PGIMER draws the sickest and the poorest people from across India.”

He found PGIMER Emergency like the “busiest railway station” of New York. “When we passed through the PGI’s Emergency area, it looked like the Grand Central Station at rush hour,” he wrote. Grand Central Station in New York is one of the busiest railway stations in the US. “Many of the patients wore masks, presumably to protect their compromised immune systems from communicable illnesses. Indeed, the country is rife with infectious diseases — tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis and malaria — all abound,” he wrote.

He also mentioned the plight of PGI doctors, who, he said, examined a large number of patients daily in the OPDs. “On a typical day, a doctor examines more than 100 patients, 90% of whom cannot afford to pay for their care. Almost no one has an appointment,” he said.

“A PGI physician told me that he examined at least 100 patients daily and on some days the number could go up to 300. In Minnesota, I complain if I have to see 20 patients in a day,” wrote another delegate, who works for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the most prestigious health institutes in the world.

He wrote that the PGI doctors too wanted a limit on patients a doctor should examine the outdoor patients daily.

The guests were also amazed with the concept of langar outside the institute.

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