The number of patients visiting Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital reduced considerably on Monday, the first day of implementation of a pilot project wherein locals are given priority in registration for OPD and admission. Medical director of the hospital, Dr Sunil Kumar, said that total registrations for OPD consultations used to be around 8500, which reduced to 5200 on Monday. “On Tuesday, there were no OPD services due to Gandhi Jayanti,” he added. GTB Hospital is the biggest public health facility in east Delhi with more than 1500 beds and multiple specialties including gynecology, pediatrics and medicine. Among others, it is frequented by people from adjoining areas in Uttar Pradesh. Dr Kumar said earlier that anyone could get registration done at all counters. But under the new system, 13 counters have been fixed for locals and only four counters are available for those coming from other states for treatment. “Address confirmation is done through voter ID card in case of adults. In case of minors, parents’ details are needed,” the GTB medical director said. According to authorities, emergency admissions have no restrictions. However, for regular admissions, it is being ensured that 80 percent beds are reserved for locals.
“It will be much easier to manage services and provide quality treatment with reduced load. I think it’s a positive step,” Dr Kumar said. State health minister, Satyendar Jain, who visited the hospital on Monday, also said he spoke to some patients and the feedback is positive so far. Sources said the government plans to put similar restrictions for treatment of patients from other states in the other state-run hospitals also. Patients from other states are already being denied free medicine and diagnostic facilities. “Kejriwal says Delhi is for everyone when talking about farmer protests. But when it comes to providing treatment, his government adopts such discriminatory approach,” said Ravi Sarkar, who has been living in Delhi for nearly a decade. Advocate Ashok Agarwal said he plans to file a petition in HC seeking intervention. “This kind of discrimination doesn’t take place anywhere across the country,” he said. – TOI