Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS has Much Work to Boast of

The following blog's post focuses on the Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS.

The Department of Psychiatry at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was started in 1962. The department excels not only in providing training but also imparting education. The department also deals with providing training in Psychiatry in General Hospital setting in India. It can be said that AIIMS is known to establish psychiatry as just another medical specialty. The department has made path breaking contributions towards the field of Psychiatry. One such attempt was the development of rural mental health services with the help of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The ICMR funded the mental health project at the Ballabgarh Community Centre way back in 1964.

Another path breaking achievement of the department happens to be the introduction of the First Child Guidance Clinic in Delhi again in 1964. Later on the department was instrumental in forming the De Addiction Centre in 1976 which later went on to become the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre. The centre is now attached with AIIMS.

Of late, the department of Psychiatry has been witnessing a gross imbalance in the demand and supply of services in this department. This is because with the passage of time, the number of patients requiring psychiatric treatment has increased in leaps and bounds. This is precisely reason why there has been an imbalance in the services of the Department of Psychiatry.

When inquired, doctors were found saying that, other hospitals should be upgraded so that it helps AIIMS in running a parallel centre pertaining to Psychiatry and related field. The department of Psychiatry’s registration takes place in the normal procedure. The main registration counter opens at 8 in the morning and shuts down by 10. However, in the case of Psychiatry, patients’ cards are not accepted at the registration counter after 9 am. So, those who get a card after 9, has no other option but to come back the next day. According to norms, only 80 cards are issued against 300 to 400 applications that take place on a regular basis.

The institute has restricted on the number of patients that can be checked in the OPD every day. For the department of Psychiatry, since the number has been reduced to only 40, it has led to imbalance in the Department. However, doctors have a different story to narrate. According to them, every patient visiting the department requires a little more attention than that of others visiting any other department.

Currently the Department of Psychiatry’s main objective is to develop highly trained workforce, proper curriculum and techniques for undergraduates as well as postgraduates, an added benefit for students pursuing their medical studies in Psychiatry from AIIMS.

Other areas of focus of the department happen to be the epidemiology of substance abuse clubbed with general mental health. Students specializing in the field of Psychiatry are trained through outpatient, inpatient, community based, and family based mental healthcare.

All these have been included only because the number of patients visiting the Department of Psychiatry has increased manifold.


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