City hospitals and medical stores had earlier witnessed scenes of chaos, panic and serpentine queues.
New Delhi: Almost nine days after the sudden government announcement of scrapping the country’s most circulated cash had caught lakhs of people off guard, the functioning of city hospitals seem to be limping back to normal on Thursday. Hospitals like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital and the civil hospitals were seen much prepared in terms of handling the situation by availing the patients and their attendants with at least two mobile ATM cash vans stationed at the hospital gates.
City hospitals and medical stores had earlier witnessed scenes of chaos and panic and serpentine queues. The extension period for the acceptance of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at all government hospitals did bring some respite to many in the city. The kin of patients were provided with medical slip in a bid to save them from standing in long queues at government hospitals.
Speaking to this newspaper, Gaurav Kalra, an agriculturist and an attendant at the Safdarjung Hospital said, “It’s been more than a week since we are out on the road, sleeping on footpaths and pavements in a bid to get the new currency notes. The extension given by the government and the ATM van facility provided by the hospital have eased away a lot of tension.”
Echoing the same sentiments, Brij Mohan, a 77-year-old retired employee and a patient at AIIMS, said that his blood pressure had gone reasonably low and he was rushed to the hospital. “My son was reluctant to take me to the hospital owing to the cash crisis. But when we came here, to our surprise, we didn’t face any trouble and admission in the hospital was given easily.”
Though the private hospitals sought exemption from accepting old currency notes and decided to not take the scrapped notesfrom Wednesday morning, a city-based super multi-specialty hospital extended help to an emergency case on humanitarian grounds and accepted the scrapped notes.
Kulwant Singh and his family, who hail from Roopnagar in Punjab, seemed visibly relaxed after one of their family members had to be brought in to Adiva Super Speciality Care on Wednesday night and was put on ventilator. “Due to medical emergency, my relative was rushed to the hospital. But soon his health began to deteriorate and he was put on ventilator. We were asked by the hospital authorities to pay the amount which was close to Rs 90,000. As we were carrying the banned currency notes and had to pay the bill, the hospital authorities exempted us and accepted Rs 60,000 in cash while we paid the rest today through online transaction.”
In a similar case, Najeeba Khan (41), a housewife and a mother of two, breathed a sigh of relief when the hospital authorities let her walk out with her children after paying 75 per cent of their bill amount and a slip for the remaining bill to be paid by Friday. Her husband was undergoing pancreatic treatment at Shanthi Gopal Hospital.