DELHI DIARY-2:A date with Delhi Govt’s Dr.N.C.Joshi Memorial Hospital

Hospital premises. Photo- SAT/NN.

NEW DELHI, 23 February 2023: I am from a doctor’s family (mother was a doctor) and had a childhood spent roaming in clinics and hospitals. The regular tablets (could be for anything) and injections (there were no disposal syringes) were a regular feature. Once, in school, someone asked my name and I said, “doctor’.  A grown up me read medical literature (no internet) coming by post from pharma companies. Such was my way of life and having grownup, I never forget those days when being a government doctor was a service to humankind. Time has passed and things have changed. Patients have the option of a private doctor or hospital. Or, Medicare in Australia. Depends where you live.

The registration counter. Photo- SAT/NN.

On a recent trip to India (New Delhi), I had a bad cough and felt my trip was sliding. Too much cough drew the attention of a friend who took me to a hospital. In the heart of Delhi (Karol Bagh) lies the not so visible Dr. N. C. Memorial Joshi Hospital. Reluctantly, on one morning the friend escorted me there and we stood in a queue to get registered  as a patient. My name, age etc. was inputed through a computer and with a printout went to a doctors room to wait. I had no idea what was in store. Two lady doctors were there and one of them asked about my problem and referred me to the ENT department. Probably, my bad throat shifted me to the ENT doctor.

The medication I got free from the hospital. Photo- SAT/NN.

The checkup went-up well with dignity a patient needs. The soft spoken doctor wrote down the medicines I needed and asked me to have regular steam inhalation. I asked my friend if there was a pharmacy nearby. To my surprise I got all my medicines free of cost including advice how to consume them. The prescription medicines included a cough syrup, antibiotics, paracetamol etc. Curiosity gripped my mind as to who runs this hospital. A board revealed it was the The Govt. of NCT of Delhi (Delhi state government) that runs the hospital.

The prescription (OPD Card, 22-2-2023) on its top described it as the ‘Aam Admi Poly Clinic, Karol Bagh, New Delhi’ in the Dr N. C. Joshi Memorial Hospital. I realised it is funded by the Delhi state government. Health and Education have been the flagship programs of the AAP led Delhi Government.

The hospital was clean with a lot of covid warnings and staff masked. The patients seemed to be disciplined. Separate queue’s for seniors an added facility. What more did I need?

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I walked backed home and took my first tablets and thanked the doctors, staff and Delhi Government for what they did for me. A few days on and I am back under Medicare.

By Neeraj Nanda

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