Hospital lacks facilities for persons with disabilities: audit
Asia-Pacific, March 2 2017
NEW DELHI, INDIA: The country’s premier medical institute All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) “lacks” facilities which allow smooth access to persons with disabilities on its premises, a recent audit conducted by the hospital administration has revealed.
The audit comes in the backdrop of the Ministry of Social Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment advising public health facilities to conduct an inclusive accessibility audit to identify infrastructure gaps and make buildings accessible for persons with disabilitie as a part of the ‘Accessible India Campaign’.
“The review brought out that there are few places in the institute where toilets for the wheelchair user patients are lacking. Certain areas like the administrative block, the teaching block, JLN auditorium and biotechnology block are not accessible for persons with disabilities,” said V Srinivas, Deputy Director (Administration), AIIMS.
“These blocks will be retrofitted to make them wheelchair accessible. The existing AIIMS building is old and needs significant modifications. Efforts are being made to convert the old blocks barrier free,” he added.
Currently elevators, installed in the hospital areas have an operator to guide the patients with disabilities. Signages and announcement systems have also been put in place.
Further, three departments — Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Engineering and Hospital Administration — have been asked to identify the gaps and draw out the modalities to make the building accessible for persons with disabilities, he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, a division under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has also asked the faculty of IIT Roorkee to conduct an external accessibility audit of AIIMS.
“AIIMS is visited by a large number of persons with disabilitie. The institute would strive to take all necessary action to ensure that the disabled persons are provided inclusive accessibility,” Srinivas added.