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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A large number of patients and their relatives coming from remote areas of Odisha and neighbouring states to avail treatment are reportedly forced to sleep under the open sky outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar in the absence of any shelter facility.

As per reports, the patients and their relatives have to spend nights on the footpaths stretched up to half kilometers on both the sides of the premier hospital to stand in the long queue in the morning.

“We have no alternative but to spend sleepless nights on footpaths braving the chilling cold. Then only we will be able to stand in long queues and make ourselves available for treatment,” said a patient who has come all the way from Bhagalpur to remove a stone from his kidney.

“Only 25 patients are getting their slots by online booking. Another 25-30 patients will be treated in offline mode on the basis of first come first serve basis. Hence, we have no choice but to spend here for a long period of time hoping that our turn will come,” he said.

Most of them also have to remain hungry and in half-fed empty stomachs to avail the treatment from experts, it was alleged.

Narrating his ordeal a patient from Balasore said, “Food is very costly here. I along with my family have been waiting here since last week hoping that our turn will come for treatment soon.”

“We have nothing to protect us from this chilling cold except a blanket. We also face problems in attending nature's call. We are also feeling panicked and even there is threat to our life by sleeping in open space at night for days,” he said.

However, the ordeal of such a large number of patients has so far gone unnoticed by the hospital authorities as well as the State government. It remains to be seen when the authorities will wake up from their deep slumbers and take steps for the well being of the patients.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)

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