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AIIMS offers speciality pill
Lack of bus service still bugs patients

Bhubaneswar, July 7: Tossing and turning all night while the neighbourhood snores. Greeting the early morning sun with tired eyes. If this sounds familiar and the sleeping pill has replaced your nightcap, fret no more.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, is going to provide health services to people through speciality clinics from tomorrow, and on its list is a sleep clinic.

Nine speciality clinics, including ones for sleep and pain, will open at the health care institute.

Taking about the speciality clinics, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar director, Ashok Mahapatra said out of the nine clinics, the sleep clinic was unique. “Sleeping disorders have become a common concern. Many people are suffering from this ailment. People usually take sleeping pills as a remedy. With the opening of the clinic, patients here now can consult specialists,” said Mahapatra.

An AIIMS official said the clinics would function in the afternoon — from 2.30pm to 4.30pm — at the outpatient department of the hospital. The clinics would be managed by groups of doctors and be functional on five days of a week — except Saturday and Sunday.

For consultation at the speciality clinics of AIIMS, patients need to be referred from the general OPD of the hospital, from any government institution or private hospitals. Patients will have to register their names at the OPD by paying Rs 10 to avail the services.

Sources in AIIMS said the hospital would be among the few medical institutions in the country to have a speciality sleep clinic.

Other speciality clinics in this institute to be opened are high-risk pregnancy, paediatric nephro-urology, head and neck oncology, lung cancer, infertility, hydrocephalus-spina bifida and cerebral palsy clinics. Not far from now, AIIMS will have 39 super-speciality clinics.

The outpatient departments had opened at AIIMS on June 4. The OPDs of various departments such as medicine, surgery, gynaecology, orthopaedics and dentistry are open from 8.30am to 1pm on all days of the week except Sundays and central government holidays. Of the sanctioned 183 faculty members’ posts at the AIIMS, 74 have been filled.

Although about a year has passed since the facility opened, communication remains a major problem for patients and their relatives. Though the hospital attracts around 50 patients to its OPDs on a daily basis, the city bus service is yet to roll out direct buses to the hospital, which is around three kilometres from the nearby bus stop on national highway No. 5.

The city bus service, which was introduced under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), covers most of the hospitals here, including a number of private facilities located on outskirts of the city. But the bus service is yet to link AIIMS, which is around 13 kilometres from the city.

The city bus service goes up to Aiginia, the nearest bus stop, from where one has to cover another three kilometres to reach the hospital.

Patients and their attendants complained that as a result of non-availability of city buses, they had to cough up steep amounts as autorickshaw fares to approach this apex health care institute.

“The city bus drops us at Aiginia Square or Dumduma Square from where we have to hire an autorickshaw. Sometimes, the autorickshaw drivers demand Rs 100 or more for the three-kilometre distance,” said Sanjay Behera, relative of a patient who stays at Patia.

However, the authorities of Dream Team Sahara (DTS), the private operator of the government managed city bus services, said there was no plan to link AIIMS thorough bus services in the near future.

“It will only be possible when the proposed addition of buses to the fleet takes place in August or September. We will try to run a few buses to this institution after verifying the feasibility,” said chief executive officer of the company Sudhanshu Jena.

AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, is located on a 100-acre area at Sijua village on the outskirts of the city.