Friday, 15 August 2008

A Day at RML

So today India celebrates it's 61st independence day. And why not? We have come a long way and the changes are everywhere to be seen. But there are still miles to go. This is especially applicable to public healthcare facilities in hospitals such as Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the capital. Sure it's free and all, but all processes are primarily governed by obscure paperwork that causes a lot of delay. Add to it the huge bulk of population, scarce 
doctors and outdated 
infrastructure and you have chaos!

What makes it so chaotic? There are over 150 patients each day for each specialty who examine patients over a course of 4-5 hours. There are only around 4 docs for each department. Do the math. 

Here, a few candid pictures to unfold the real deal...

Marsh and stagnant water on the premises - a hotbed for malaria. Hey don't you go to the hospital to get RID of diseases?

Once you register after struggling through a long queue and take
a consultation number, this is where you wait. I like to call this 
the outer waiting chamber/ corridor.

The open air canteen of sorts. People kill time here as they wait for their turn. Some even leave the hospital to run errands in the meantime. 

While others mingle and bitch about the hospital procedures.

Finally lady luck smiles and you feel closer to your destination
as an attendant 
yells out for a set of numbers. Ab dilli durr nahi, you feel.
You find yourself
in the inner waiting chamber only to enjoy your
90 seconds of fame
with the doc as he/ she hurries through
your reports and symptoms.

Yes ma, your turn will come too. Sabr ka phal mitha hota hai!

An ailing old man on the brink of a doorway without any attendant.
The concept of 
ward boys is alien to the hospital. Your companion is the
one who
manoeuvres your wheel chair/ stretcher. To get a wheel chair or
stretcher, you have 
to get a permission slip signed btw.

In stark contrast is the nursing home for higher officials.
Super clean, 
quiet and conducive to healing.

There are other things too, but you wouldn't like to see them. And I don't want to show you.