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Times of India
18 May 2010
By Durgesh Nandan
New Delhi, India

Turned Away:Neha Rawat(left),who fractured her leg in an accident was among those denied admissionTurned Away:Neha Rawat(left),who fractured her leg in an accident was among those denied admission
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a circular on Saturday stopped any new admissions to its emergency ward. AIIMS has two wards earmarked for emergency patients, but sources said that the hospital has decided to renovate one of them without making any alternative arrangement. Due to this, many accident cases and other patients, who needed to be operated on, were turned away for unavailability of beds over the past three days.

“AIIMS casualty is visited by about 400 critical patients everyday and about 100 require admission for further treatment. The sudden decision to stop new admissions to the emergency ward has paralyzed services. There is no bed to shift emergency patients who are already under treatment. And new cases where emergency procedure is required – such as cases of heart attack and kidney failure – are being turned down admission or referred to other hospitals due to unavailability of bed,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.

Some resident doctors, said sources, had held a protest against the hospital administration on this issue on Saturday. “Relatives of any patient who is turned down admission or referred to another hospital get angry at us. What should we do in such a situation? We cannot even shift them to the specialty wards since in most cases no beds are available in that department either. There is a 6–7 month waiting,” said a doctor.

When contacted, AIIMS director R C Deka and medical superintendent D K Sharma said they were out of station. Institute spokesperson Y K Gupta was also not available for comment.

On Monday, a number of patients could be seen waiting outside the AIIMS casualty even as the mercury refused to give them any respite.

Two–year–old Prince, who is suffering from blood cancer and has high fever, waited for treatment since 8am but doctors on duty would not admit him as there are no beds available in AIIMS. “His condition is serious. A private hospital refused admission and referred him to AIIMS. But we came here only to be turned away,” said Parvati, mother of the child.

Thirty–five–year–old Mandvi Rai from Uttam Nagar, is suffering from bowel obstruction due to hernia. “She is crying due to pain and has been vomiting constantly. But the doctors here have referred her to Safdarjung Hospital,” said Naveen Rai, Mandvi's brother–in–law. A young girl, Neha Rawat, who fractured her legs after a scooter fell on her was also denied admission at AIIMS casualty. She was referred to the AIIMS Trauma Center.

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