The much-awaited All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Mangalagiri commenced operations by starting OPD services on Tuesday. Incidentally, the AIIMS, Mangalagiri is the first to start functioning in South India with another being constructed at Madurai in Tamil Nadu. On Day one, a majority of patients from Mangalagiri and surrounding areas thronged the premier hospital to get themselves diagnosed by the OPD doctors. “At present, the poor and the middle-class people find it difficult to afford treatment at corporate hospitals. The hospital has come as a relief to people of nearby districts; they can avail proper healthcare under specialist doctors here,” VVN Prasad Babu (70), a retired bank manager, said. Asked whether the facilities available here are satisfactory, another patient G Krishna Murthy, 82, said, “It is too early to comment as the AIIMS has started operations just now.” Seeing it as a risky affair to come to the hospital from Mangalagiri, he appealed to the authorities concerned to deploy vehicles for transporting patients between the OPD building and the main gate.
Speaking to TNIE, AIIMS, Mangalagiri president TS Ravi Kumar said around 2,000 patients daily can avail the services of 35 doctors and 12 departments at the OPD. In the first phase, works for constructing a G+5 building to house the OPD by June are progressing at a rapid pace. This apart, works for building a hostel and residential complex for faculty have also begun. At present, the AIIMS is functioning from Siddhartha Medical College premises. By 2020, the AIIMS would operate from a permanent building at Mangalagiri, he said. Asked whether medicines are provided free of cost to the patients, he said as per the Union Health Ministry guidelines, only some medicines would be given free of cost, while the patients will have to pay a nominal charge for some more. Plans are also on cards to conduct classes for the MBBS students from the AIIMS, Mangalagiri campus from next academic year, Ravi Kumar added. He and director Mukesh Tripathi inaugurated the OPD services at Dharamshala building on the campus. – New Indian Express