The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is all set to shift its existing outpatient department (OPD) and move into a more spacious accommodation 500 metres away to the adjacent Masjid Moth area by the end of March.
Currently catering to a patient load of 8,000 per day, the old OPD, hospital sources said, needs to be “decluttered urgently”.
With the new 93,000 sq m OPD, AIIMS will be able to accommodate 10,000 patients in one go.
\The new block will have the standard clinical and operational areas, and procedure rooms.
To make the transition seamless for patients visiting AIIMS, the institute will run free transport services between the main campus and the new OPD block.
Departments which need more space will shift to the old OPD building, noted a senior AIIMS official, adding that “we also need space for research, which is the primary focus of the institute”.
“The shift is aimed at streamlining a patient’s AIIMS experience, and to provide better care in the shortest possible time and in the most systematic manner. Some departments will continue here [on the main campus] and we will ensure that the shift is gradual,” he said.
The new OPD has been constructed according to green and energy conservation norms. Figures released by the Union Health Ministry on AIIMS in Delhi show that 8,000 patients come to the OPD daily, with 400 critical patients visiting the casualty department.
The hospital caters to 35 lakh OPD patients each year, has 55 departments, 640 faculty members, 2,000 resident doctors and 5,100 staff nurses.
The maximum number of deaths were reported from its institute’s Gastroenterology Department — 536 (2012-13); 448 (2013-14); 403 (2014-15); and 223 (2015-16). The Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre reported 631, 624, 544 and 472 deaths during the same period.
“AIIMS, Delhi, gets patients from across the country. They are often referred here in a critical condition. The institute caters to a patient load many times over and above its actual capacity. The government has been in the process of allowing growth in terms of additional beds and expansion of the existing institute,” said a Health Ministry official.
Besides expanding its OPD services, the institute is also building a new block specifically to offer treatment to the older population and burn victims.
An official said the institute understood the need for special care for this section of the population, hence the move.
According to the 2011 census, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons (aged 60 years and above) in India — 53 million women and 51 million men.
A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India suggests that the number of is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026.
It is in this light that AIIMS has started work on building the National Centre for Ageing — a 200-bed block with a dedicated operation theatre. Being constructed at a cost of ₹150 crore, the facility is expected to be open by March next year.
“The facility will have its own OPD, which will ensure that older patients are catered to in the same block,” said an AIIMS official.
AIIMS has also received a nod to build a new Burns and Plastic Surgery Block, which aims to take the pressure off the Trauma Centre, which currently caters to these patients, and shift these patients into a specialised ward.
Coming up next to the Trauma Centre, ₹100 crore has been sanctioned to the institute for this project. “Though staff has not been sanctioned for the facility so far, we should begin recruitment soon,” added the AIIMS official.
The Union Cabinet had earlier this year approved a proposal to establish three new AIIMS — at Vijaynagar in Jammu’s Samba (at a cost of ₹1,661 crore); at Awantipora in Kashmir’s Pulwama (at a cost of ₹1,828 crore); and at Rajkot in Gujarat (at a cost of ₹1,195 crore).
‘Large pool of doctors’
“The three new institutes will not only transform health education and training but also address the shortfall of healthcare professionals in the region. These new institutes will serve the dual purpose of providing super speciality health care to the population closer to their homes and also create a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary-level institutions/ facilities being created under the National Health Mission [NHM]. Construction of the new institutes is fully funded by the Central government. Their operations and maintenance expenses will also be fully borne by the Centre,” Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda had said.
The three new AIIMS will lead to employment opportunities for nearly 3,000 people in various faculty and non-faculty posts.
“Each new AIIMS will add 100 undergraduate [MBBS] seats and 60 BSc [Nursing] seats. They will have 15-20 super speciality departments and also add around 750 hospital beds. Each new AIIMS will cater to around 1,500 OPD patients per day and around 1,000 IPD patients per month ,” he added.