The outpatient department (OPD) of AIIMS, which is visited by over 8,000 patients daily, will be relocated out of the main campus to Masjid Moth, about half a kilometer away, where the institute plans to start a new OPD block by March. It plans to run free transport services between the main campus and the new OPD block. All-India Institute of Medical Sciences deputy director (administration) Subhashish Panda told TOI that construction of the new building was complete and all infrastructure needs were being addressed so that the shift could be made. “We are aiming to shift OPD services to the new facility by March,” Panda said. AIIMS is visited by patients from all over the country daily. At present, OPD services are run from the main building, Raj Kumari Amrita Kaur OPD Block, which came up in the 1950s. It is overcrowded and patients are often found squatting on the floor.
The OPD department will be relocated to Masjid Moth. More facilities, less wait at AIIMS. New OPD block to decongest main hospital, help focus on more cutting-edge research. The new OPD block is designed to serve better, officials said. “The eight-storey building will have a dedicated lab for OPD services to increase the number of tests and decrease waiting time. It will also have a waiting area, minor operation theaters and resuscitation facilities on each floor,” said Dr Aarti Vij, chairman of the institute’s media and protocol division. The new block will also house OPDs for medicine, geriatrics, endocrinology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, urology, ENT, a psychiatry department and a pharmacy. The hospital’s doctors say shifting OPD services will help decongest the main hospital and, therefore, allow better management of inpatient facilities. “The existing OPD may be utilized to expand emergency medicine and other inpatient departments, depending on need assessments,” an official said.
In addition to the OPD block, the Masjid Moth campus will also house the upcoming mother-and-child block and surgical block. The authorities said both buildings are ready and furnishing and equipment installation are underway. “We aim to start them by July-August,” an official said. All these projects, he added, were conceptualized long ago and construction work started between 2014 and 2015. “They were supposed to be operational by 2016 but due to some reasons it got delayed,” the official said. “Segregation of OPD services will not only decongest the hospital, it will help the institute focus on its original mandate to do more cutting-edge research, surgeries and innovations,” doctors said. AIIMS produces the maximum research in medicine in the country and is among the busiest hospitals in India. A study by the hospital’s administration department showed that in 2009-10 alone, 453 faculty members and 1200 resident doctors handled 15.28 lakh outpatients, 84,000 admissions and 78,000 surgeries, apart from teaching 1,661 students, investigating 381 projects and publishing 1424 academic papers. Over the years, this burden has increased.
To improve health facilities at the regional level, the central government has built six new AIIMS and proposed several others in various states. The new AIIMS are, however, yet to gain people’s confidence. The department-related parliamentary standing committee on the Union health ministry noted recently in its 111th report on the functioning of the six new AIIMS (phase 1) that only 37 percent bed occupancy existed in the obstetrics and gynecology departments of the six new institutes. It called for the institutes to submit quarterly reports to the health ministry on the status of infrastructure, faculty and construction activity. In 2006, the Center decided to set up AIIMS-like institutes in different parts of the country so that people would not have to travel all the way to Delhi. However, government sources said getting the best professionals to run the new AIIMS remains a challenge. “We want to employ pass-outs from its parent institution so as to spread the same culture in newer institutions,” Union minister J P Nadda told TOI in a recent interview. – TOI