The director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has withdrawn his letter that listed the special arrangements for MPs at the country’s foremost government hospital. Doctors’ associations and activists had criticised the “VIP culture”, while the institute had said these were just the SOPs or Standing Operating Procedures.
The institute, in an apparent bid to counter the “VIP” charge, had also tweeted that it has “always had a 24×7 control room for co-ordination of medical care of patients from all walks of life”, adding that staff is deployed to “expedite treatment for poorest of the poor”.
Large crowds and long queues are a routine at the overworked AIIMS, where it sometimes takes hours to get the consultation card made for OPD. The Emergency, too, is often pressed to the limits.
The AIIMS Director’s since-withdrawn letter to the Lok Sabha Joint Secretary spoke of streamlining the Outpatient Department (OPD), emergency consultation, and hospitalisation services — specifically for members of Parliament.
In case the MP needs OPD consultation, their staff only needs to share the details with the AIIMS duty officer, said Dr M Srinivas’s letter to YM Kandpal. The duty officer will then speak to the doctor and fix the appointment, it said. “In case it is so required, we can speak to the Chief of Centre or Head of the concerned department as well,” it added.
Similar call-the-duty-officer special service is available for emergency situations, the letter said.
With inputs from NDTV