The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 15 , 2014
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Prestige first, duty later for AIIMS docs

A conflict between prestige and convenience in the minds of a few AIIMS-Patna doctors has kept them away from the health hub campus, triggering a possibility of delayed medical services.

Of the 67 doctors recruited at AIIMS-Patna so far, around seven to eight are upset over not having proper accommodation on the hospital premises. They end up wasting a lot of time in commuting between the hospital and their temporary residence.

“Type 2 flats are very small. Besides, those are meant for Grade III and Grade IV employees. Doctors offered Type 2 flats don’t want to occupy those because it has become a matter of prestige. A doctor allotted Type 2 flat told me that he won’t feel comfortable living with Grade III and Grade IV employees,” said an AIIMS-Patna doctor.

A doctor who refused a Type 2 flat said: “I was allotted two Type 2 flats instead of one Type 4 or Type 5. My son studies in a private school at Ashiana, where I reside. If I shift residence, my son would face a lot of problem to shuttle between his school and the AIIMS-Patna residential complex. I decided not to shift as there is no good school near AIIMS.”

But when asked whether it would not be difficult for him to travel the distance once the indoor services start in February, the doctor had no answer.

Sources said though the AIIMS administration tried their best to provide alternative arrangement for the doctors concerned, they declined the offer.

They were eligible for big Type 4 and Type 5 flats, which were scarce. So the administration requested them to accept the smaller Type 2 flats in the residential complex. But the doctors turned down the offer because those are meant for Grade III and Grade IV employees.

Admitting the problem, AIIMS director Dr G.K. Singh said: “We are offering two Type 2 flats to the doctors in place of Type 4 or Type 5 flats, which are scarce. The situation would worsen when more doctors join the hospital because the construction of all residential complexes would take one to two years.”

A source said the problem would aggravate when 125 more doctors join AIIMS-Patna in the next three or four months.

“At present, only 200 flats are ready of which only 60 are meant for doctors and others are meant for Grade III and Grade IV employees. Doctors can now manage to live outside the hospital because they have to attend to the outpatient department between 8am and 1pm but when indoor services begin, things would get complicated because doctors must be available round-the-clock in shifts,” said a source.

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