Sunday, March 16, 2008

Be Patient

Just this Thursday, I was informed by my parents that a very young cousin of mine was being operated in AIIMS for some eye problem. It was known that the kid was born with deficiencies and needed special care right from the start for his low vision in both eyes. Otherwise, he was a very intelligent kid and highly energetic. Despite his vision being low, he still manages to run faster than kids his age, passes all his subjects with high grades and is known for his practical pranks, age no bar.

Knowing him since his birth, I thought I should pay him a visit post his surgery. I reached AIIMS and called my uncle to know their ward number. He said they are at the ENT department for some check up and clearance. I was impressed. Just after a day of surgery, the patient was being checked and cleared for discharge. I asked the enquiry desk and got to the ENT floor. What I saw and got to know there was unheard by me till date.

The kid patient had not been operated on Friday as there were no pre-surgery clearances attained by various necessary departments as mandated before an eye surgery. They had spent 5 days already in the private ward of the hospital talking to all possible eye specialists, doctors and nurses. No one had once mentioned the process to follow. How on earth would I know if there is water in Mars? Only a Martian can tell me that, right? Did I tell you that the private ward for which they were paying 1500 bucks per day had a TV which was not functioning, leaking bathroom taps and an Air Conditioner plug which gave out sparks sometimes?

If that was not enough, at 0800 hours in the morning the ward boy who was to take them from the private ward to the ENT department actually took and made them sit in the Neuro-surgery department. When in doubt and asked by the parents of the kid, some official of the hospital reassured them that this is the right place as the ENT and Neurology department have shifted to this New Building, where they were waiting. Till 1100 hours with no sign of the Doctor, they enquired again. Their papers were taken and kept by an Attendant. When the Doctor finally arrived, they were told the real news and that they would have to come back to the Old Building and visit the ENT specialist. By this time I reached the hospital and was with them. This was not all. The ENT specialist recommended nasal and Chest X-Ray, based on which she would give a clearance or otherwise. When asked where the X-Ray department is, she told us the way but she was not sure if it would be open as it was a Saturday. Rightly so, the X-Ray department closes by 1100 hours on Saturdays. The kid who had woken up at 0600 hours for clearance checkups had not had breakfast as advised by nurses. It was well past 1300 hours and we had got clearance from even one department. We went back to the ward and made him finish his lunch. We had to go out for X-Ray and wait for an hour for the report.

It was 5 days that the patient had come for an eye operation. Leave alone the eye, when we came back and showed the X-Ray report to the ENT specialist there was a new recommendation been made. The kid needed a nose surgery as his nasal glands had expanded and may pose a problem in the near future.

It was 1800 hrs. All departments were closing. The only department that we could finish during the day had given us news of a new surgery which am sure would entail a new set of pre-surgery clearances to be taken, new buildings to sit and wait at, some more X-Rays to be taken and may be news of another possible surgery.

I may be over reacting as this was someone known to me. No hospital can ever become a tourist spot. No one likes visiting the place either. But I suggest all to visit a hospital. Especially, a Government hospital makes a wonderful setting. It is worth mentioning that many private hospitals are not far from becoming perfect examples for aspiring proprietors of hospitals. Just walking across one of the corridors will give you an idea how not to run a hospital. Ofcourse, the population, the amazingly ill facilitated, mismanaged and disdainful medical facility of our country is such that I really think MHA (Masters in Hospital Administration) as a professional degree and aspirants of this course should become really serious about it. Proprietors and our Government, no matter which party forms it, will gain much from this set of academia and professionals in a big way. The patient community will certainly be benefited on a large scale.

As to parents of the kid, all I can say is, he is our patient, let’s be patient.

1 comment:

Spontaneity and Afterthought said...

ohh my God!! all that sounds so depressing. I feel so angry and sad about the whole thing. I hope the kiddo is doing fine now. he is the best kid i have ever met and he deserves so much better...