NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Thursday inaugurated a 120-bed night shelter at AIIMS here to alleviate the hassles experienced by outstation patients and their accompanying relatives.
Set up by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Officers’ Wives Association and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the shelter will serve the public on the ‘first come, first served’ basis. A person using the shelter is being provided with washroom facilities, bed with blanket, and breakfast.
A 2,200-bed hospital, AIIMS receives over 10,000 patients daily, out of whom 2,500 are indoor patients who have to stay in the hospital or nearby areas, according to the health ministry.
It’s estimated that over 1,000 patients a day have been sleeping rough on the stair-cases of Metro stations, the pavements within the premises of AIIMS, and the footpaths, says the ministry.
Though the new shelter would house only 120 patients, there were several other shelters and “vishram sadans” that served the purpose, especially during winters, said Nadda.
“We have been setting up such shelters every year during the winters, so that patients and their family members coming to Delhi do not have to stay outside the hospitals in the chilling cold,” SSB Officers’ Wives’ Association general secretary Praneeta Jha told IANS.
She said their shelters would try to make special arrangements, beyond their own capacity, for any seriously ill patient.
Nadda inspected the night shelter in the AIIMS Trauma Centre premises being run by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which can accommodate over 100 patients.
The minister also inspected the 450-bed night shelter at Safdarjung Hospital, which is being maintained by th e AIIMS.