Public waits for pvt rooms, but the rooms wait for VIPs at PGI | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Public waits for pvt rooms, but the rooms wait for VIPs at PGI

Five hundred a day - that's the waiting list for private rooms at the Post-Graduate Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Yet, four of the 126 rooms have not only been earmarked for so-called very important personalities (VIPs) but are even kept vacant just in case any such 'special patient' turns up.

chandigarh Updated: May 16, 2013 11:49 IST
Vishav Bharti

Five hundred a day - that's the waiting list for private rooms at the Post-Graduate Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Yet, four of the 126 rooms have not only been earmarked for so-called very important personalities (VIPs) but are even kept vacant just in case any such 'special patient' turns up.

As it turns out, the four rooms had occupancy of 15% in the 2011-12 fiscal, not only depriving other patients of the facility on over 300 days of the year but also depriving the institute of up to Rs 22.5 lakh every year, as the practice is ongoing. The tariff is Rs 1,800 a night.

HT has information that the four rooms -- number 69-70 and 51-52 (both single units) in Nehru Hospital and 6 and 12 in the Advanced Cardiac Centre -- are always kept earmarked and vacant for VIPs.

This goes on, even as the aam aadmi patients wait endlessly, and get treated and discharged without getting a private room.

Even after a recent audit of the hospital conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, the issue was raised in the report that said these rooms be given to the common people, as "it would have helped the needy patients to avail better facility of the institute besides generating additional revenue".

Keeping VIPs in good humour has remained a part of the PGIMER's administrative culture. Till two years ago, the institute ran special examination rooms for VIPs, without any official record. It was only after HT exposed the practice that it stopped.