New AIIMS Guidelines for Treating MPs promote VIP Culture: Doctors


New Delhi: The All India Institute of Medical Science(AIIMS), New Delhi has issued a standard operating procedure for streamlining the medical care arrangements for sitting Members of Parliament, prompting doctors at the institute to question the move.

As per the order issued by AIIMS Director Dr. M Srinivas, Duty Officers, who are qualified medical professionals, from the Department of Hospital Administration will be available in the control room round the clock for OPD and emergency consultation and inpatient hospitalization of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. It said all other patients who are referred to AIIMS for consultation or treatment by the MPs will also be provided due assistance by its Media & Protocol Division.

In the order, it was also added that the duty officer will be the Nodal Officer to coordinate and facilitate requisite medical care arrangements for Hon’ble Sitting MPs. The order too contained special phone and landline numbers which will be made available for the MPs to contact officials and doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Science.

This erupted a controversy as the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) said that VIP Culture should be stopped. “We condemn VIP culture. No patient should suffer at the cost of another’s privileges. That being said, having a protocol to streamline things should not be viewed as derogatory, provided it doesn’t hamper patient care,” the association added.

The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) also criticized the move. “On one hand PM Modi says there is no VIP culture in India, but on the other hand AIIMS Director Dr. M Srinivas releases a letter to promote VIP Culture!  Like in the past we still stand against VIP Culture,” tweeted FAIMA.

In 2017, AIIMS decided to open a “new counter” at its out-patient department to cater “exclusively” to patients recommended by the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Union Health Minister J P Nadda and “VIP references” from MPs but withdrew it after a meeting.

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