‘I’m a Doctor at RML, I Struggled to Get a Bed at the Hospital’

I waited for at least 30 minutes to get oxygen supply at the hospital’s trauma centre.

Updated
My Report
3 min read

Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

The world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic with the help of doctors and frontline workers, but in India, VIPs are given preference over these COVID warriors.

After being tested COVID positive on 12 April, my medical condition deteriorated on Saturday, 17 April. I was having breathing difficulty, my heart rate reached 155-160 BPM, and I was coughing severely.

Since I am a PG resident at the Department of Dermatology at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, I rushed to the same hospital for medical support.

One would find this difficult to believe: Despite being a doctor and a frontline worker, I was unable to get a bed at the hospital. I waited for at least 30 minutes to get oxygen supply at the hospital’s trauma centre, and a bed was also not allotted to me.

After struggling for 2-3 hours, with the help of my colleagues of the Resident Doctors Association, I managed to get a bed at the hospital.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It has been happening in the hospital for years and the same situation arose when I went for my COVID test.

On 11 April, I went to the COVID screening centre at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi, as I was feeling feverish. I thought I would be able to get done with this quickly as I had my OPD to look after. To my surprise, I saw four of my colleagues from the RML waiting in the queue for over an hour to give their samples.

When I enquired about the delay, the doctors said samples of people with references of politicians, ministries, and other VIPs were being collected first and then our samples would be taken.

If they were treated with such delay, I wasn’t surprised when I had to wait in the queue for over an hour after registration.

We all know that these so-called VIPs don’t take treatment at government hospitals. They have big private hospitals for their diagnosis.

RML has a culture of giving preferences to VIPs, but now, it stings more, when we see someone else is given preference at the hospital over the people fighting the deadliest virus.

Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), the associations of doctors, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern about the prevailing “VIP culture” in government hospitals amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

  • IMA’s letter to the PM regarding ‘VIP Culture’ at government hospitals
  • FAIMA’s letter to the PM regarding ‘VIP Culture’ at government hospitals

Even after the letter to the PM, nothing changed, except that the VIP screening centre has been renamed to COVID Screening Centre 2.

I appeal to the governments to not break the backbone of the country, of those who are leading the fight against the pandemic, by treating COVID worriers as secondary. It’s high time that the hospital administration take cognisance of the matter and support the hard-working COVID warriors.

The Quint reached out to the Medical Superintendent of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi. The response will updated once it is received.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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