In 2018, my sister Rashmi underwent treatment for cancer at AIIMS Delhi. She went to the hospital twice a week, underwent chemotherapy and many more side effects of treatment.

During that time, I visited AIIMS 10 to 12 times within a month and the scenes were gruesome. A 5-year-old boy suffering from leukemia, a poor old woman sitting with her husband in pain, hundreds of depressed people due to their ongoing war with cancer.

On a particular Monday, I was with my sister for the weekly consultation. We reached the hospital by 1:00 pm and I took a token with serial number 57 from the counter. We waited for our turn for the OPD starting at 2:00 pm. Patients and their attendants started to gather outside the OPD. By 2:30 pm, there were close to 300 people in a small place and there wasn’t any space to move even an inch. The mic-announcement system at OPD had stopped working sometime back. So, the security guard would announce the name of the patient and if one could not go immediately then his or her turn got canceled for the day. The patient would be asked to come again and take a future date for consultation.2

For a disease like cancer, everyday counts. Missing an appointment is the same as asking for more trouble and putting one into more pain.

I had to wait for 3 hr and 15 min until the number 57 was announced. For that entire duration, I stood at only one place, keeping both my mind and ear alert. I couldn’t allow the chit-chatting of 300 people to break my concentration. But it was tough.

By the time we managed to come out of the hospital, it was almost 6:00 pm and we were really exhausted. And there were only 6-7 doctors who were attending to the patients in the OPD. Consider the stress on the doctors at the end of such sessions.

On many occasions, people usually visit AIIMS Delhi when they have exhausted all their options elsewhere. This hospital gives them the last hope. Consider the pressure on the doctors who know that if they don’t treat the patients well, then the patients have no where to go.

On the last day of the visit, I met the head of Cancer department to thank him for the tremendous effort being put by his team. He had a smile on his face. He mentioned that due to huge inflow of patients that far outweighs the current capacity, the hospital face huge stress; yet the doctors and medical staff try to make best possible effort.

Although it has been almost 3 years since that incident, that conversation is still fresh in my mind. During this grave time due to COVID-19 situation, the doctors and medical staffs continue to put effort to bring our loved ones out of danger. Doctors and medical staffs continue to put their own life at risk to save lives.

But when I see attack on doctors, I feel sad and helpless. I understand that there are some medical professionals who take advantage of current situation, but that doesn’t mean we should see everyone as the culprit.

Sharing this picture which is made of photos of doctors who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Small steps in our part may help us to save precious lives of doctors.

1. Wear double mask

2. Take vaccine (let’s take which ever vaccine is available immediately instead of thinking of Covishield vs Covaxin)

3. Say few kinds words to front line workers every time you meet them. They are under tremendous stress. Few nice words can make their day.

4. Follow Social Distancing

5. Have Patience. We need it the most at this time.

Spread the love