Though AIIMS authorities claimed that the convenience of their patients was of utmost concern to them and they did their best to ensure people don’t face any difficulty in and around campus, people still had complaints.
The premier medical institution was turned into a fortress on Sunday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went there for a preventive check-up. With a comprehensive security detail covering the entire AIIMS premises, general patients complained of delays and difficulties.
“My mother (a patient) can’t walk properly, much less climb stairs. She was feeling sick while coming out of the metro station because she had to climb stairs. It’s a good number of stairs at the AIIMS exit,” said Pratap Singh.
Narayani Devi, 32, who had come with her husband for a follow-up at the RP Eye Center, was upset over the unexpected security clamp down.
“Nobody informed us about the delay. We were given appointment for 9am today but these security people said come after an hour. Doesn’t the PM know how difficult it is to get a date in AIIMS? God knows when I will get the next date,” she said.
Mohammad Rizwan (name changed), whose father is admitted in the hospital, complained about his children going without breakfast.
“They are not letting us bring food inside. We asked them to frisk us and check the tiffin but they didn’t allow us in. We have small kids with us who are hungry. The chemist shops in the vicinity are also shut and I had to ask a friend to get the medicines,” he said.
People also rued about disappearing of the roadside vendors in and around the hospital. “You get cheap food there but I couldn’t find any in the morning today,” said Rizwan.A woman in her 70s pleaded with a security official outside the eye centre, "Bhaiyya main aatankwadi nahi hoon; aap check kar lo. Maine doctor ko dikhana hai, main takleef mein hoon (I’m not a terrorist, you may frisk me. I have to see a doctor, I’m in great pain)." The official politely asked her to wait.
“We chose Sunday for the check up as our OPDs are shut, so public inconvenience would be minimised. We would never want our patients and their families to get troubled in any way,” said a senior administrative officer at AIIMS.