New OPD block to decongest AIIMS opened to patients on MondayUpdated: Feb 10, 2020 22:15 IST
New Delhi: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday shifted the clinics of six of its departments to the new out-patient block at Masjid Moth to decongest the exiting Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur block in the main campus, where nearly 13,000 patients receive consultation every day.
The new 93,000 square metre eight-storey building saw patients from medicine, geriatrics, orthopaedics, psychiatry, dermatology, and endocrinology departments on the first day. These six departments, with high patient load, account for about 20% of the total patient footfall in the hospital OPD.
“The rest of the departments will move to the new facility within the month. The new building will decongest the out-patient clinics. It has also been made disability friendly; there are nine lifts and a ramp till the eighth floor. Apart from that, there are disability-friendly cubicles in the toilet facility on each floor as well,” said Dr Aarti Vij, chairperson, media and protocol division, AIIMS.
Patients visiting the new facility on the first day found the spacious interiors and ample waiting space appealing, although some said reaching the new building was a challenge. The patients also had to go back to the main AIIMS campus to get their medicines.
Rakhi was among a few of the patients with appointments who received a message about the move to the new department.
“I got a message informing me that I had to come to the new building for my appointment. I could not find the location on Ola, but then an auto driver knew where it was and agreed to bring me. Other than the initial difficulty in finding the place, I really had a very good experience here. The building is spacious, there were many chairs and I could sit while waiting for my turn for consultation,” she said. She travels from Vasant Kunj for her hypothyroid treatment every other week.
She said she used to feel suffocated in the old building. “The galleries in the old building were so narrow and always full of patients. There wasn’t even place to sit down on the floor. Everyone used to stand so close to each other that I could feel their breaths. I used to feel so suffocated that I started going to Safdarjung even though I prefer the doctors here,” she said.
The new building has nine lifts and a ramp for patients to go up the eight storeys. There are escalators too, which haven’t started working yet.
“Climbing the stairs was also difficult in the old building because there were so many people, there is no room to even shift left or right. And there are long waits to get into the lift,” said Dayanand Chaurasia, a retired government employee.
On Monday morning, he reached the old OPD as scheduled and had to walk for 15 minutes to reach the new block.
“This is a little far from the old block. But, once I was here I was happy. There is no pushing around, people are waiting in queues properly outside the consultation rooms and there is a lot of place to sit,” he said.
Notices had been put up outside the old OPD block informing patients of the move.
Sai Devi had not seen these notices. She stood in a queue for over an hour to get an appointment for the orthopaedics department before she was informed that she would have to go to a new block. She had to take an auto to reach the new building.
“I wasted time unnecessarily standing in queues today. First, I stood in the queue at the old OPD block for more than an hour. Then, I came here and had to queue up again. Now I will have to go get the medicines there again; I don’t think I will be able to get the bus in the evening,” she said. She travelled from Haryana for her consultation.
To get medicines patients had to go back to the pharmacy in the old campus. They had to queue outside the new block again to avail the free Parikrama service to transport people within AIIMS.
“The new building is really good, but it is not possible to walk to the old building, so now I have to wait for the e-vehicle and then wait again at the pharmacy,” said Narayan, who had come for a consultation for his diabetes and hypertension.
“These are all teething troubles. There is some touch-up work that is going on. Within the month, the rest of the departments along with pharmacy etc will move to the new facility and patients will face no problems,” said a senior official from the hospital administration, on condition of anonymity.