Patients’ patience put to test at IGMC

SHIMLA: Picture this: A patient goes to Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Hospital, finds no space to park the vehicle, leaves it along a road and lines up at the OPD counter.

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 11

Picture this: A patient goes to Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Hospital, finds no space to park the vehicle, leaves it along a road and lines up at the OPD counter. After a few hours, he/she returns to find a challan pasted on the vehicle for wrong parking. And, the government, which is supposed to provide parking space, turns a mute spectator.

Insensitive behaviour of the police and discriminatory policies of the government have become a bane of patients and their attendants visiting the IGMC as the hospital administration does not allow any vehicle to even cross the main gate. Scores of vehicles parked on roadsides are challaned every day.

The attendants are a harried lot as they have to choose between attending to the patient and looking for a place (which in not available in the vicinity of the hospital) for their vehicle.

As many as 2,000 patients come to the OPD every day, besides indoor patients in the 1,000-bed hospital but, there is no parking facility and the stretch from Sanjauli to the IGMC has been declared a “restricted road”.

“Rules are different for VIPs, who can park vehicles at their whims, but a common man is issued a challan,” said a retired government official, Kanshi Ram.

“I have been undergoing treatment here and my vehicle has been challaned twice in the past five days. I am helpless as there is no parking space,” said 72-year-old Manju.

The crux of the problem is that the road has been included in the list of restricted roads where a common man, who is denied permit, cannot ply the vehicle and the government is in no mood to exclude the road from the list. The government only understands the language of pressure and agitation as it excluded the Kennedy House-Boileauganj road from the list after a protest by lawyers.

The government is insensitive as it is aware that the patients and their attendants are at the receiving end and cannot squat on the road and block traffic.

It has taken no action to solve the problem of parking, especially in hospitals. Moreover, there is no adequate parking facility in adjoining Dental College and Kamla Nehru Hospital, a wing of the IGMC.

“We allow emergency vehicles on the restricted road from Sanjauli, but parking on the road is not allowed,” said a police official on duty.

“The government should open the IGMC-Sanjauli road and allow parking of vehicles there if it has any consideration for ailing patients or it should close the hospital and shift it to some other place, conveniently approachable by patients without any hassle,” said another resident, Amit Sood.

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