the AIIMS WAR ZONE
Boy, the place is a war zone -- or at least like one of those medical centers on the front during a war. People, sick people, bullet shot people, almost dead people, and dead people - all on those movable hospital beds - being carried around in a overcrowded hall. Doctors and attendants running from pillar to post, from patient to patient.
As I was about to enter AIIMS, a peon roughly pushed me away from the door, while another guy in a lab coat rushed a 20-something person on a hospital bed through the Emergency door. The patient's hand was hanging from the side, his mouth wide open. As the bed crossed the door, the nurse standing nearby muttered to the guard, "he's gone".
The first room I entered was crowded, to say the least. Dozens of people hogging over a desk behind which stood two doctors. The patient with me described his symptoms to one of them. The doctor pointed down the hall to Medical Emergency (there's also surgical emergency, and another emergency whose name I forget). An Emergency Clinic is not like one of those usual hospital wings with rooms for every patient -- it's one hall with glass partitions at places. One hall, so the Medical Officer and his team can rush from person to person, case to case, examining them all. The patients were put on a hospital bed and aligned in rows in the room. When our turn came, the patient with me described his symptoms as headache, nausea and sudden blurred vision. The doctor first measured blood pressure: 150/120, quite high. Then we were told to get a CAT scan done, confirming that the doctor had in mind the same disease that I had feared for the patient, long before we had come -- brain tumor. Fortunately, with the CT scan done, tumor was put out of question and the culprit was identified as simply high blood pressure. Yet for confirmation the neuromedics doctor called the neurosurgeon. While we waited for him to appear I saw a doctor pushing an old granny on a bed across the ward towards the HDU center in one corner (in the HDU center, they had set-ups like the ICU where they can closely monitor the patients). Walking along side the granny, was presumably the granny's daughter (40s) and the granddaughter (12-13 years old). Suddenly, the 40-something lady yells, "She's turned blue! Woh gayi!" The doctor, as if shot with a dosage of adrenalin, gives a cry and runs with the bed into the HDU center. What happened to the granny, I do not know, but I later saw the 40-something lady desperately crying.
The neurosurgeon came, and he quickly dispelled a burst nerve. So all doctors agreed that blood pressure was the only logical answer. My patient was discharged and given some anti-hypertension medicines. Had any test turned out positive, the patient with me would have been removed from the Emergency Ward and hospitalized into one of the usual rooms upstairs.
According to wikipedia (link), AIIMS treats an astounding 1.58 million patients a year. The government spends over 500 crore rupees an annum on this single hospital. As a result, millions are given the best treatment facilitates at a minimal cost.
May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.