PGI’s New OPD a nightmare for patients
To reach till the doctor’s room is in itself a herculean task. Sitting inside, surrounded by over 10 patients, the doctors also have become used to the situation.punjab Updated: Mar 07, 2018 21:29 IST
Large number of people trying to get through a door, choking waiting hall, maddening rush and thumping sounds of door — the New OPD of one of the country’s premier institutes — Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is every patient’s nightmare.
To reach till the doctor’s room is in itself a herculean task. Sitting inside, surrounded by over 10 patients, the doctors also have become used to the situation. As patients continue to bang the door, bolted from inside, many consultants keep a helper inside the room to allow only a limited number of patients.
Patients from senior citizens to children, some even wheelchair bound, keep on waiting for long hours. They raise voices, plead for their sickness, give references but the door closes on their face as only one person enters inside.
- Long waiting queues at the registration counters. People reach as early as 4am to get into the line
- Once cards are made, patients wait again outside the doctor’s room for hours
- Patients waiting outside the doctor’s room have no idea of their turn. Cannot even go for a break
- Waiting areas are jam-packed. Attendants also wait in the same area
- Poor ventilation makes the stay difficult
Things will become more difficult with the changing season. Every year, during summers many people collapse while waiting for their turn. “Are you from media?” asks one patient, who wished not be named. “Please write about this OPD. There is no system in place and it is called the best hospital,” he said while pointing towards OPD of neurology.
Another lady, struggling to enter inside the room of an endocrinologist said, “Why did I come at 5am, when there is no system of examining patients who come early. Four to five people who came after me have entered inside the room.”
A woman with mask on her face fought with the guard and entered the room after waiting for several hours. The woman who had underwent a kidney transplant could not afford to stand outside for long duration.
The New OPD was inaugurated on March 19, 2001 to cater to 3,500 patients per day, but 18 years after, the number has increased to over 10,000 patients. On Tuesday itself, 9,548 patients were examined. Even though the number increased, nothing much was done to manage the patient load.
Solutions as suggested by doctors
“Extend the registration timings till 12 noon, so that people do not rush in the morning to reach the hospital. In the endocrinology OPD, the registrations are on till 3pm. It will help in decreasing the long queues in morning,” suggested endocrinology department head Dr Anil Bhansali.
“Are you from media? Please write about this OPD. There is no system in place and it is called the best hospital.”— Patient
“Place kiosks at the registration places, so that people can get registration cards printed on their own,” he said.
He said that doctors must become punctual. “If OPDs are started in time, at least by 9:30am, doctors can start examining patients.”
He suggested implementation of a token system, “Give a token number to every patient who registers in the OPD. Then, place digital boards outside every doctor’s room to display the number of the patient inside the room.”
“It will give a rough idea to a patient about his/her turn,” Dr Bhansali said.
Dr Rajesh Chhabra, president, PGI Faulty Association, said “Token system is a good idea but there might be a problem in implementation. However, the patients who register online can be given time slots.”
‘Will discuss the token system’
Deputy director (administration), PGIMER, Amitabh Avasthi said, “We have already started a token system in three departments. I will discuss the implementation across the entire OPD in the upcoming projects committee meeting.” The meeting is most likely scheduled for Thursday.