There should be no waiting list for cancer,says new AIIMS director

AIIMS director,said he would focus on the introduction of an appointment system for patients.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published: October 16, 2013 1:54:52 am

Two days after he took over as the director of AIIMS,Dr M C Misra said he would focus on the introduction of an appointment system for patients and a centralised payment mechanism — preferably cashless — for various procedures.

“I am trying to work out a mechanism where patients can book appointments with doctors so they don’t have to come and wait for hours. We had a call centre-like centralised system at AIIMS Trauma Centre. I am trying to see if we can replicate it here,” he said.

He said such a system would reduce workload. “In the long run,I imagine it is possible for a patient from Bihar referred here for a cardiac procedure to take an appointment before travelling to the capital. If we publicise the numbers properly,and educate the public,I am confident we can achieve it,” Dr Misra said.

Centralising the payment mechanism,Dr Misra said,was another step in this direction. “For every procedure patients have to deposit fees. Most often they are asked for drafts in the director’s name,which ends up delaying their treatment,and increasing the waiting lists. If we can introduce a cashless mechanism for payments through credit cards,it will make the procedures faster,” he said. Computerisation of treatment records,a long pending project at AIIMS,he said,will also help in making the system more efficient.

Misra said prioritisation of emergency procedure was an important step towards reducing waiting time. “Under the National Health Service of the United Kingdom,waiting periods for surgeries such as hernia and knee replacements range from a few months to a year. But for emergency procedures like breast cancer,that is not an option. For cancer,there should be no waiting list. In neurosurgery,there are long waiting lists but that could also be related to the long hospital stay for patients,” Dr Misra said.

One meeting already completed with HSCC,the agency implementing most of the expansion projects at AIIMS, Dr Misra said clearing other long pending projects would be his top priority. “Projects like the new surgical centre,which will double the capacity of our surgical wards and triple our operation theatres,the mother and child block,the new diagnostic and OPD block,and our extension OPD at Jhajjar,need to be expedited,” Dr Misra said.

Collaboration with multiple institutes for low-cost innovation,like the ongoing project between AIIMS,IIT-Delhi and Stanford Univeristy for biodesign — to bring in new cutting edge technology for treatment — will be another area of focus,he said. “We are also recruiting more doctors now,and I hope to increase the number of doctors further in the future,” he said.

To control attrition of senior doctors from AIIMS,Dr Misra said he would try to make room for faculty to be heard. “If people are quitting for personal reasons,I cannot do anything… But I feel sad if senior faculty leave due to personal dissatisfaction. We will try to sort out (their) problems,” he said.

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