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Lack of shelter forces AIIMS patients to stay in toilets, pavements

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 22:48

New Delhi: Paucity of beds in AIIMS and lack of affordable accommodation facilities have forced many outstation patients and their families to seek refuge in a toilet complex and on pavements near the hospital in this freezing cold.

These patients from various states across the country have come to seek affordable treatment at the premier medical institute and have been camping out on the pavements and in a nearby toilet complex due to extreme rush and paucity of beds in the hospital.

"What to do, I have to get my son treated and I cannot afford a hotel or lodge as we are very poor. Spending nights in this biting cold weather is very difficult as we have minimal resources to protect us," said 45-year-old Kanumati Devi, who has come all the way from Pilibhit district in Uttar Pradesh and is awaiting the next appointment date for her son.

She is staying on the pavement outside the hospital and cooks the food in the open along with other women.

Among the scores of people staying outside on pavements is 13-year old Sakvir, a cancer patient, who hails from Uttaranchal and has been sleeping out in the open for the last five months.

"There is no space in the government run shelter home, we have been living out in the open for the last five months. Now that it`s winter, it is very difficult. I already have fever for the last one week," Sakvir`s father said.

Some lucky ones managed to find a place in the nearby shelter run by the hospital, while others are braving the freezing winter with their indomitable spirit.

Those who have found a place at the shelter home having a capacity of 650 beds complained of very unhygienic conditions and congestion there.
AIIMS has a shelter with a capacity of 650 beds. However, with a large number of patients coming from far corners of the country, the shelter proves to be insufficient, forcing many to spend nights in open.
The national capital recorded its lowest minimum in a decade for the month of December on Monday as the mercury dipped to a chilly 2.4 degrees Celsius, five degrees below normal.

First Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 22:48

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