April 21, 2010

INDIA: Nightmare for Elderly Patients at Hyderabad NIMS hospital

. HYDERABAD, Andhra Pradesh / The Hindu / April 21, 2010 Staff Reporter NIMS has no provision for the elderly to meet the doctor at the earliest Senior citizens, freedom fighters and pensioners visiting Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for treatment have little to cheer about. The nightmare in the hospital for the elderly starts from 8 a.m. and by the time they manage to come out after meeting the doctor, little energy is left in their weary legs to go back home. Tired old legs clinging on to luggage and waiting patiently for their turn to meet the doctor is a very common sight during the outpatient hours at NIMS. Ordeal: CGHS patients waiting for consultation at the out-patient block at NIMS on Friday. The hospital authorities have not provided special provision for the elderly so that they can meet the doctor at the earliest and head back home, in time for lunch. “I have to set aside a full day for my monthly kidney check up. I reach the hospital at 8.30 a.m. and by the time I leave it's 1.30 p.m. I am a diabetic and have to eat in the hospital canteen,” complains T. Raviraju, a pensioner covered under CGHS insurance scheme. Most of the pensioners, senior citizens and freedom fighters visiting the hospital are covered under CGHS insurance scheme. “Like AIIMS they should introduce cashless treatment for CGHS patients. We have to pay first for the treatment and then get bills reimbursed from CGHS Hyderabad, who inevitably delay the payment,” suggests G. S. Vittal, a CGHS beneficiary. Large number of senior citizens point out that hospital authorities need to streamline and make outpatient services efficient. “Whenever we complain, they ask us opt for evening clinics. But, recently, they increased the outpatient fee for evening clinics from Rs. 150 to Rs. 300,” says another senior citizen P. Raja Mohan. Senior citizens also complain that doctors ask them to take up diagnostic tests in laboratories outside. “Patients with white card and Arogyasri cover are given preference over us. Their tests are done in the hospital labs but we are asked to go outside,” complains T. Ramnarayan, a pensioner from A.G. Office. [rc] Copyright © 2010, The Hindu