How big is AIIMS Delhi

OverloadedEveryday life in one of India's largest clinics

Samodh sits in his wheelchair, staring into space and waiting. To be admitted to India's largest government hospital. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS for short. The hospital could also be called the University Clinic of New Delhi. But in front of the AIIMS there is pure misery. Whole families camp next to Samodh on the sidewalk of the six-lane road that runs in front of the clinic. In the evening, queues hundreds of meters long form in front of the small snack vendors. Samodh also lines up every evening.

"I've been here ten months before the AIIMS. I've already had an operation on my nerve tract. Another operation is still pending. But you have too few beds here, that's why I've been waiting so long."

Samodh comes from Patna, the capital of the state of Bihar, also in northern India. Samodh is in his late twenties and an electrician. It's a dangerous job in India. In most cases there is no such thing as occupational safety. When Samodh tried to repair a power pole, he was hit hard, he says.

"After that I was passed out, I lay there for six or seven hours. People thought I was dead. They took me to the hospital in Patna. Then I came to. But I couldn't move, I could mine Don't move my head, and neither do my legs. Even an operation on my legs couldn't change anything. "

As many people every day as in a football stadium

At some point the doctors in Patna gave up. So Samodh decided to go to AIIMS in New Delhi. The trip lasted several days and is now ten months ago. But the AIIMS is the last hope for Samodh.

"The AIIMS is a big hospital. We are trying everything to make it bigger. We have 13,000 to 14,000 patients who come to us every day. We also have 2,500 beds, we want to double this number. If every patient with one Relatives come, then around 30,000 people enter this clinic every day. That's as many people as usual at a football game! "

Samodh was an electrician and is in a wheelchair after an accident. The doctors at his home hospital gave him up. He's been camping in front of the AAIMS for ten months. (Deutschlandradio / J├╝rgen Webermann)

Randeep Guleria is the managing director of AIIMS in New Delhi. Guleria is actually a lung specialist, and therefore a sought-after man. New Delhi has a big problem with smog. But now he feels more like the manager of a construction company, says Guleria. The AIIMS is under massive pressure to expand its capacities. India's population is growing and growing. Extreme poverty, poor environmental conditions, epidemics and, above all, an undersupply in rural areas are causing the numbers of patients to skyrocket wherever there are clinics.

"We have to somehow limit the onslaught here. We have to make sure that the people in their home countries get better first aid so that they don't have to come all the way here to New Delhi."

India plans health insurance for everyone

The Indian government now wants to fundamentally change the system - with health insurance for everyone. She wants to attract private clinics and doctors to the countryside, because treatments there could also be worthwhile. The plans are still in the early stages.

Insurance would be too late for Samodh. He went into debt to make ends meet as a homeless man in front of the hospital in New Delhi. The young electrician in the wheelchair just hopes that the wait was somehow worth it. That the operation, which has been postponed again and again, will soon be performed and he can feel his legs again. But that, says Samodh, will only be decided by one of the many Indian gods in the end anyway.