Patients still queue up for hours at LNJP pharmacy

Newly constructed block fails to handle swelling crowd

Over a month after the new OPD block at Lok Nayak Hospital was inaugurated, the hospital pharmacy is still grappling with an unmanageable rush. 

Some patients on Monday claimed to have been waiting for four hours to collect free medicines.

Earlier, the hospital authorities were confident that the new block would put an end to the endless queues at the pharmacy and fast-track the process for patients. 

The hospital is now clueless on how to deal with this rush as the number of patients coming to the OPD have gone up in the past weeks. Hospital sources said the rush has been quite unmanageable and there may not be an immediate solution to it.

“This is a systemic problem. We are trying to work out if the situation would improve if we have more outlets other than the pharmacy. This will be in addition to the nine counters dispensing medicines,” LNJP Hospital medical superintendent Dr Siddharth Ramji said.

“Also, more patients have been coming in the past two weeks,” Dr Ramji said.Some patients claimed they were waiting for nearly four hours in the queue to collect medicines. Hospital sources, however, refuted this. “The rush is particularly high because there were a few closed holidays in the past two weeks,” a hospital source said.

A security guard at the dispensary said the first three days of the week always see a large number of patients waiting in queues.

“It is past 3 pm now and I have been waiting since 11 am. There is not even an inch to move. At least in the last dispensary, we could sit on the ground. There is not enough sitting space here,” said Shabnam, a Chandni Chowk resident.

‘Makes no sense’

According to patients from Loni and Bareilly, it makes no sense to wait “in this condition” for hours. 

“Who would want to wait like this? The only reason why each one in this pharmacy is waiting is because they cannot afford to buy even these basic medicines,” said Rihana, a resident of Loni in UP.

The wait was worse for the elderly and those with children. While children were seen to have fallen asleep standing in the queue, senior citizens had little relief. 

“I am a patient of arthritis. Imagine how I must be carrying on for the past two hours. The staff are lethargic and frequently going for tea breaks, resulting in delay,” said Renu Shrivastava (name changed). 

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