The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has informed the Delhi High Court that it is “keen” to start its OPD in a “phased manner” and also “hopes” that healthcare services will resume in the “next two weeks”.
The OPD services at AIIMS were shut down on March 24, following the Covid-19 outbreak.
AIIMS revealed the information before a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar during hearing of a plea late Thursday evening. The plea sought directions for free-of-cost medical treatment to over 100 outstation patients at AIIMS, which allegedly stopped treating them after the COVID-19 outbreak.
AIIMS in its status report filed before the benc submitted that “it is providing telephonic consultations to patients by fixing the appointments in advance”.
AIIMS counsel Anand Varma said “AIIMS is keen to start the OPD in a phased manner, and we hope that in the next two weeks, AIIMS would restart its OPD services in a limited way at least.”
It was further told that “AIIMS is providing all the necessary treatments to patients in emergency and is also providing chemotherapy to cancer patients as and when required.”
The High Court was informed that AIIMS is now disbursing medicines prescribed by its doctors to the patients from its pharmacy.
“Such disbursement should continue without endorsement in respect of the prescribed medicines for the duration for which the prescription is made,” the bench said.
The court was hearing two different petitions by advocate Karan Seth and Rachna Malik, seeking direction for some arrangement to treat outstation patients till the lockdown lasts, and the pharmacy at AIIMS remains non-functional.
During the hearing, Malik suggested that the patients who require “daily/regular treatment at AIIMS, and their attendants, should preferably be housed at either the Vishram Sadan, or at the night shelter opposite AIIMS, whereas others – who do not require such like regular treatment, could be put up at Gargi School, or at the Pratibha School, if necessary and if sufficient accommodation is not available at the night shelter/Vishram Sadan.”
“In the light of the aforesaid, we direct the authorities to look into the aspect of housing the patients and their attendants at one or the other facility, keeping in view the situation as it emerges, and also taking note of the fact that some patients may require treatment at AIIMS on a regular/ daily basis, while others may not,” the bench ordered.
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