In November 2022 we forced our father to go for a regular checkup. The doctor who consults the diabetes medicines has referred our father to a kidney specialist. The so called specialist gave him 1 week medicines and asked him to return again after 1 week. After consuming the medicines for 2 days his condition worsen. He didn’t felt any internal pain but his feet swollen up. My brother along with my father arrived his clinic and were told that doctor will here only for one day in a week. The staff requested to wait for a week. My annoyed sister asked him to refer to another doctor. As a result he visited Haldwani for a checkup.

In December 2022 we got to know that our father is suffering from kidney infection.After various tests the doctor said that only 12% are in working condition but there are no external symptoms.I thank God that the first doctor was absent. Otherwise he would be experimenting with his medicines in the name of being a specialist.

I wish we had known about it earlier. But what can we do if our father is not willing to meet the doctor? We always requested him to visit the doctor but he ignored us. The only excuse he gave was that the doctor would charge lots of money. That is the thinking of most of the middle class people. But his ignorance towards his health has made the situation worse. My sister, who is always a supporter of my father, had scolded him for the first time. And I truly agree that he deserves it.

Like every middle class Indian my father and siblings decided to take an appointment in AIMS hospital. It is not easy to make an appointment. My siblings told him that the slots are not available in Delhi AIIMS. Appointment may take upto 2 to 3 months. But my father was so desperate that he preferred visiting Rishikesh AIIMS hospital. Although my sister already told him that this hospital is newly built and the nephrology department is not as good as it is in Delhi. But older people don’t listen to younger people. They will do what they think is right.

On January 30, 2023 we arrived at Haridwar. We took a bus for Rishikesh. The weather was already cold and it started raining. Approximately at 9:00 am we arrived at the hospital counter. We asked the person to refer the patient to the specialist directly. But he denied and told us that first you need to consult with a normal physician. We started waiting for minutes, half an hour and later hours. We were told that the patient will be according to the roll call. But still the guard was allowing the person to enter with a higher roll call number. Some were staff members while some were the friends and relatives of the staff. When people complain he explains it’s his duty. After successfully wasting a few hours we finally got an opportunity to meet the physician. While consulting my father he wrote the medicines’ name on the paper. But why? Such a useless task. The medical prescription was already there in the file. Like a kid he was copying the exact same data on paper.

At 1:00pm we arrived at the nephrology department. A lady told us the meeting time is 11:00 am. We were asked to return after 2 days. That was hopeless. We arrived at 9 but they wasted our time on useless procedures. And the fun fact was that the doctor was present in the hospital but still wouldn’t see a patient. If the hospital has to give priority to the staff and their relatives only then why do they even allow outsiders. They should simply make it a private institution so that a normal patient wouldn’t waste his or her time in the hope of meeting a doctor.

At most how much it would require to meet a patient, a few minutes or half an hour. Their time is valuable but our time is not. That’s what they would be thinking. It’s not only us. But many would be suffering. I remember a lady was lamenting that none of the staff was responding. The people on the ground floor asked her to go upstairs and the people on the first floor asked her to return back to the ground floor. If you don’t want to treat the patient better, do not open the hospital. Do door to door service like a vendor. I would not blame the doctors because he is totally unaware of the situation. I would rather blame the badly coordinated system of that hospital.

We left that place because there was no assurance that after 2 days we will be able to meet the doctors on time. Later our father accepted the fact that the decision of visiting Rishikesh AIIMS was not fruitful. Sometimes people learn from experience not from the advice given to them.

© Amitra