Patients suffer as VIP culture rampant at RML
Though the PM talks about eradicating VIP culture in hospitals, the Medical Superintendent office of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) is busy defying the Centre’s order by favouring patients coming through recommendations.
In a reality check conducted by Millennium Post, it has come to notice that patients, following the normal set of rules, have to wait for hours for their turn for consultation with a particular doctor. However, those having good connections with either RML MS AK Gadpayle or his office staff get their turn much before patients, who wait for hours.
When Millennium Post tried to get a reference note for “early” appointment as a normal patient, the staff at the MS office denied such a favour, saying that since the registration is done online, such ‘special reference notes’ cannot be issued from the MS office. “All patients are treated equally here and doctors take a call on the basis of the serial numbers on registration slips issued to patients,” said Pawan, a staff at the MS office.
After waiting for some time, it was found that Pawan’s statement was for patients with no contacts. It was not meant for the VIPs. Surprisingly, the same person at the MS office was happily facilitating patients, whom they were known to, by issuing special reference letters on the MS AK Gadpayle’s official <g data-gr-id="38">note pad</g>. When Millennium Post tried to get the comments of Gadpayle, he refused to meet, citing his busy schedule.
The <g data-gr-id="32">practise</g> of favouritism was not only limited to writing a letter, but it continued by making calls to particular doctors in the MS and in some cases Gadpayle himself was placing requests for paying “instant” attention to a particular patient.
Perturbed with this <g data-gr-id="43">practise</g>, a patient, who had come from Faridabad to visit gynaecologist Bani Sarkar, said: “This <g data-gr-id="44">practise</g> of favouring needs to be stopped. We come very early to get the registration done, but what is the use of standing in queues when the recommended patients get treated much earlier, even if they come very late,” adding that the online registration is also not going to help the public; rather it will act as a tool of harassment for us. The ultimate beneficiary would be VIPs.
Another patient, who was waiting for two hours, said, “The recommendation business was not rampant at the time of the former MS. There were only a few VIP cases and access was very much streamlined.”