These pictures are of the inner sections of OPD almost completely devoid of patients of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh a brand new gigantic hospital at par with the standards of AIIMS, New Delhi constructed just a few years ago, though an autonomous medical institution, but under the jurisdiction of the Union ministry of Health, government of India. The pics have been sent to me by a friend of mine, a social activist n scribe Anurag Dhaundiyal with a request to share them but I thought to write on it. As per the information send to me on whatapp Anurag like other responsible citizens is badly concerned about the sorry state of affairs of this prestigious hospital AIIMS which by now could have treated hundreds of patients at reasonable, rather on freeship basis than giving such a pathetic lonely look, entirely devoid of patients due to the lackalustre and complacent attitude of the administration and the senior bosses. What makes the situation and reputation of this institute more worse and anti poor is the fact that AIIMS RISHIKESH having come into existence with the sole motive of providing free and on expenditure within the reach of a common and under privileged patients has now quadrupled the rates of surgeries, beyond the reach of the local patients and almost at par with the private hospitals. The message from Mr. Anurag says: Today I visited AIIMS, Rishikesh for someone’s addmision and was shocked to see the full ward premises completely empty. Last night most of the patients had left the wards when they noticed that the Director of this AIIMS has increased the price of its procedures by more than 200%. Previously the surgeries which used to be free are now costing at par with the private hospitals. Anurag Dhaundiyal said that he was shocked to see several patients who can’t afford these exorbitant rates of surgeries were constrained to leave the hospital without getting themselves treated. Is this the objective of AIIMS Rishikesh for which it has been established after spending millions of rupees, questions furious and disturbed Anurag. He further writes: The institute is known to provide high-end medication to people who are below poverty line, senior citizens who are retired and people who can only afford government medical institutes, I am here attaching the empty ward pics and am really shocked and devastated to see what our govt is doing in his matter. He asks: Is it that only the prise tags of AIIMS, Rishikesh has been revised and not of any other place? We have been told by the doctors that they are themselves not aware of these changes. They have been told to implement these new rates from now onwards. The doctors said that they are not in favour to ask exorbitant prices from the poor patients. And may soon go on strike protesting against these arbitrary and exorbitant rates of treatments.
This is really shocking as the primary objective of opening AIIMS is various parts of the country including Rishikesh, Uttarakhand is to help provide free and cheap treatments to the people of the poor and lower middle strata of the state and also in order to reduce the influx at AIIMS DELHI which is already over filled with patients from all around the country including (from) abroad. The AIIMS Rishikesh was sanctioned during the BJP led NDA rule while Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. Today, Uttarakhand is bereft of good government hospitals and as a result, the majority of the patients either pay heavily to private hospitals at Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital or Almora or go to Delhi for surgeries and treatment of critical illnesses. The patients belonging to the under privileged and weaker sections of the society have no option but to be at the mercy of these ill equipped government hospitals having no provision of surgeries of critical illnesses like cardiac complications etc. The political VIPs and government employees are empanelled with hi tech private hospitals n have not problems as such. Only the poor and the under privileged suffer. The rich and the affluent go to Delhi. The Fortis and Max are therefore earning handsomely due to the pitiable conditions of government hospitals in the entire Uttarakhand and the governments don’t give any heed in this regard. The point is what’s the use of spending hundreds of crores on AIIMS RISHIKESH if it’s of no use for the poor, economically deprived and marginally classes of the state of Uttarakhand.
SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum