In an effort to bring the benefits of information technology to a large section of the Indian patient population, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) has joined a league of hospitals like the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Sports Injury Centre of the Safdarjung Hospital in the government sector to provide online appointment facility to patients who are visiting the hospital for the first time.
The institute has mandated that for the patients to use this facility, they will need to have a valid mobile number. Only one appointment per day is provided for a mobile number. This is done to avoid any misuse of this facility. Moreover, the online appointment is for getting registration and screening slip and is not for consultation. The Institute has assured that patients would definitely be seen on the day of appointment. Except in the case of emergency, the doctor would see the patients on first-come-first served basis and online registration would not waive this waiting.
NIMHANS which also caters to the needs of patients from abroad now insists that those with only a medical visa would be permitted to access the facility for treatment. The patients registered online will also need to carry with them their online appointment printout or SMS message. Referral letters to neurologist, neurosurgeon and psychiatrist are also acceptable. The appointment is available for a period of one month excluding Sundays and outpatient department (OPD) holidays.
For the online appointment, the registration fee is Rs.20. The patient would need to provide the details of the date and time suitable for the appointment. The Institute has clearly indicated that if the patient fails to make his appearance then the appointment will be cancelled and a fresh one needs to be sought. This is because NIMHANS caters to a large patient pool.
Dr. P Satish Chandra, director and vice chancellor, NIMHANS, said that for the fiscal 2013-14, NIMHANS had 4,57,693 patients, of which 35,228 received emergency care. It performed 6,144 brain and spinal surgeries and interventions.
In September 2012, NIMHANS was declared an Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament. It received Rs.300 crore national grant to set up National Poly Trauma Centre at its second campus in Bengaluru. This facility is on the similar lines that of the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC), New Delhi which is an integrated level 1 trauma centre in India coming under the umbrella of AIIMS.