Despite getting Rs 2.3 crore from the standing finance committee for the queue management project in June 2018, the New OPD at PGIMER continues to see long lines of patients, including senior citizens, children and the disabled.
Under the Digital India campaign, PGI had decided to set up a patient-friendly information system for outdoor patients. They were to be given a time slot and token, which were to be displayed on a screen. As a pilot project, these screens were installed at the departments of Dermatology, Gastroenterology, and blood collection a couple of years ago. But the project hasn’t progressed any further, for there are no display screens at the New OPD except one on level 3, which is not in use. in October 2018 director Dr Jagat Ram said the token system will be implemented in the first phase followed by kiosks in the second phase. The work, he had said, will begin before the end of the year.
“I came here at 6 am, it is 2 pm now but haven’t even stepped out for a glass of water because I don’t want someone else to take my place in the queue,’’ sighed Nazim-ud-Deen from Mohali at the New OPD Block 3, Medical.
“Had the display been functional, I would have got an idea about the time it would take for my turn to come,” he said.
Bhaskar Gupta from Himachal Pradesh, who was waiting outside the nephrologist’s room at 3 pm, said he had been here since 7 in the morning. “’It is quite unfortunate that one of the top ranked institutes has not been able to streamline this service,’’ he lamented.
‘’Token display service is working better than what expected in the three departments… I do not know why it has not been spread out to the other departments. token system is need of the hour to reduce the long queues,’’ said a senior faculty member, who didn’t want to be named.
Anil Kumar Gupta, Medical Superintendent, SAID the wRok was held up due to renovation work at the New OPD. ‘’Once it is completed, all the issues will be sorted out,’’ he said.