New Delhi: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences is all set to revise beneficiaries under its four month old poor-patient-centric program. The institutes authorities have now called out for ideas that can help increase the visibility of the program, tie-ups from different platforms and Corporate Social Responsibility initiative aid from outside.
Though the program is being run from the institutes side to aid poor patients since months, it is lacking some of the basic efforts that government led programs and initiatives possess which aid them as well as patients. The donations achieved under the scheme are less than what was expected and it also lacks advertising and tax benefits.
Dr. Deepak Agrawal, head of hospital’s IT department stated to the Indian Express that the program is a very transparent. “We are open to any idea that will help increase visibility”, said Dr. Agrawal. A way ahead would be to tie-up with different platforms to increase visibility. However, for AIIMS will require to issue tenders for that and it could be a long drawn out process. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) avenue would be great if companies approached us.
The initiative is run solely by the medical institution for helping poor patients undergo costly surgeries and implants, with financial assistance or funds raised from public, under the name “Adopt a Patient scheme”.
In this effort an account in the name of patient who needs financial assistance on the decision of AIIMS authorities is opened on his/her name. Though the account is on the name of the patient himself, it is maintained and kept a vigil on by the institute’s authorities to avoid any kind of misuse or claim from the patients or his relatives’ side.
Donations come in if any in the account under the Adopt a Patient scheme directly and are benefitted to the patient treatment including surgeries and implants.
So far, in four months around seven patients have been benefitted under the scheme according to the AIIMS records. The names of the patients shown are Dinesh(18), Dayawati(50), Mubina(42), Naseem (18), Suman(38) and Sharmila Mandal (44).
Dinesh Singh (18), who is a resident of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, a six-hour journey from New Delhi, was admitted to AIIMS Trauma Center in early August after he met with an accident. The accident left him paralysed neck down, which according to AIIMS authorities requires a device to stimulate his phrenic nerve and help breathe normally.
The procedure costs around Rs 6 lakh, which is not in the capacity of the patient and either of his near relatives. Thus seeing to the condition, an account was opened in his name under the program in the hospital. Till date, he has received just over 30 per cent of the required funds.
Dr. Agrawal confirmed to this while speaking with the daily , “Donations have been coming in slow, we developed the program on our own within the institution so it lacks some of the push that government schemes may have such as tax benefits and publicity.”
“We don’t advertise the program with the patients relatives. We wanted to avoid a situation where it may be misused or they come to claim it without realising that the amount is meant for the patient’s treatment only in this hospital, said Dr. Agrawal
Donating to AIIMS under the poor fund account is tax deductible but the Adopt a patient program is not.
Dr. Agrawal also quoted that the institute target patients whose conditions are severe and do not have any means to help themselves with funds. The poor fund account serves such patients with medical expenses counting to ranging 10,000 per day.
The authority within AIIMS claims to several benefits, though it may be, but the patients and their relatives who have been benefitted under the scheme claim that they do not even know of the account existence or any kind of financial aid provided for the treatment as they claim that they have to buy medicines on their own for the patient as well as sometime they even have to leave for home and then come back each day for regular checks as they do not get beds in the hospital.
It is also said that at times the doctors treating the patients also do not know about the account under the patients name.