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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 7:10 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 7:10 AM (IST)

HC’s cure for overburdened OPDs at PGI — Slot system

Summons Director or Dy Director (Admn) for court hearing
HC’s cure for overburdened OPDs at PGI — Slot system

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10

Taking judicial notice of long queues of patients at the PGI, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has prescribed the slot system as a cure for overburdened OPDs. 

Asking the PGI Director or the Deputy Director (Administration) to be present during the court hearing, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu has asked him to specify the number of vacant posts. He has also been asked to specify the time for commencement of the recruitment process. The information, the Bench asserted, was necessary to ensure concentration on research by North India’s premier medical hub. 

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Sharma said: “The court can take judicial notice of the fact that thousands of patients visit the PGI daily. They have to stand in long queues for hours. The Director/ Deputy Director (Administration) shall apprise the court whether the slot system can be introduced to reduce the burden in the OPDs”. 

Around 20,000 patients from parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh daily visit the OPDs. One of the departments had earlier experimented with the slot system, where the staffer at the registration counter pasted colour-coded slips, according to the registration of the patients. For instance, the first 100 patients registered in the morning were included in the green slot. The next 100 patients were put in the blue slot, the third group of 100 patients in the orange slot and the rest in the red slot. The patients were grouped as per colour coding. The first group of 100 patients was seen first followed by the other groups.

Another appointment and queue management system facilitates effective scheduling of appointments of patients with doctors. The system permits the doctors and nurses to view available time slots before allocating appointments accordingly. It prevents the system from fixing an appointment if the doctor is on leave, absent or busy in the operation theatre. The directions by Justice Sharma’s Bench came on a petition filed by Dr Virendra Singh against the Central Administrative Tribunal and other respondents.  


What the Bench said

The court can take judicial notice of the fact that thousands of patients visit the PGI daily. They have to stand in long queues for hours. The Director/ Deputy Director (Administration) shall apprise the court whether the slot system can be introduced to reduce the burden in the OPDs.— Justice Rajiv Sharma

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