Following criticism, the AIIMS today closed a counter set up exclusively to facilitate treatment for “VIPs” and the patients recommended by the Union Health Minister’s office. The move comes after Union Health Minister J P Nadda expressed displeasure over the initiative taken by the AIIMS administration, hospital sources said.
The Faculty Association of AIIMS (FAIIMS) had condemned the move alleging it was a “brazen attempt” on part of the administration to “promote VIP culture” in the institute’s premises. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to twitter to blame PM Modi government of working “for only VIPs”.
“In suppression of an earlier office circular dated February 23, it has been decided to close down the counter opened in the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD to handle OPD registration of VIP references and the status quo ante shall be restored with immediate effect,” read an AIIMS circular.
AIIMS had opened the exclusive counter to facilitate the registration for the treatment of patients recommended by the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Union Health Minister and VIP references from Members of Parliament. The faculty members claimed the practice was prevalent even before and was being dealt by the Media and Protocol division, but not in such an open manner.
So ‘VIP’s and patients referred by them will now be able to skip the long queues and seek medical aid directly from the special counter at the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD. The discretion on implementing this move will lie with AIIMS Director, Deputy Director Administration (DDA), Medical Superintendent and Senior Financial Advisor in addition to the officer on special duty (OSD) with the Union Health Minister who will decide the ‘definition of VIP’.
Earlier the media protocol division at AIIMS would facilitate the registration process for “VIP references”, but there wasn’t any exclusive counter for them. The move has drawn wide criticism among the faculty members.
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