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AIIMS bid to open VIP counter irks patients

Anjana |

Patients at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) seemed to be irked over the premier institute's new move to open exclusive OPD counters for VIPs. These "special patients" can now escape OPD's long queues. 

However, the definition of VIPs will be decided by AIIMS director, deputy director administration (DDA), medical superintendent and senior financial advisor, besides the officer on special duty (OSD) to the Union health minister. 

Neha Rana, who was standing at the OPD queue, said, "My father is unable to stand due to severe stomach ache. I am here from 8 am for his check-up, but unable to consult a doctor due to long queqe and it's already 10 am. Why the hospital authorities are providing special counters to VIPs. I am totally disappointed from this step." 

The move has also drawn wide criticism among doctors and faculty members. A doctor on the condition of anonymity said, "The VIP culture shall be removed from AIIMS as it is a government hospital. This is simply not acceptable. Already patients have to wait for hours to consult a doctor." 

Earlier, the media and protocol division at AIIMS facilitated the registration process for VIP references, but there was no exclusive counter for them. Now, the AIIMS administration has officially started a mechanism to ensure smooth registration for VIP references from 1 March, opening a new counter at the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD. 

Arjun Singh (39), a diabetic, said, "I came from Palwal. It took me around two hours to reach here. After this, I am facing a long queue to consult a doctor. How a patient can stand for such a long time. Then, this exclusive VIP references. These things annoy me." 

On an average, AIIMS gets 10,000 patients daily at its OPD counters. As OPD registration closes at 11 am, patients who have been referred from one department to another have to register online for consultation the next day.