Partial View of the Queue at Patient Reception Center, AIIMS Delhi
It is painful enough to see your child see struggle at school as a parent. These days CBSE schools ask for Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Test in such cases to rule out any specific learning disability like dyslexia, dysgraphia etc. CBSE accepts such results only from government hospitals. If you are in Delhi one place where you can get the SLD test done is AIIMS. Here is how to get Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Test done at AIIMS.
I somehow got involved in this process and even though it is not travel, I believe it has the potential to help many parents out there, because most of us think it is impossible to meet a doctor at AIIMS without having a connection. It is simply not true anymore.
How to Get An Appoint at AIIMS
Thankfully getting an appointment at AIIMS Delhi is easy, yes you read it right. They have a call center, the number is 011-65900669 but I did not try that personally. I easily booked my appointment through the AIIMS App and I recommend it highly. But you do need the Aadhar Card of the student to book via the App. Luckily the person I was booking for has an Aadhar. After that they ask for a few details and show you all the available dates. Pick up a date that suites you and your appointment booking is done. SLD Test is conducted by the department of Psychiatry at AIIMS.
When the doctor consults you they will ask for a letter of referral from the school. Make sure that the school has given you a document recommending the student for a SLD test.
What Happens When You Reach AIIMS
Patient Reception Center
When you reach AIIMS it is not that easy from there because of the crowd. To confirm your appointment you need to go to Patient Reception Center (PRC). If you have an appointment for the same day you report to Counter 1. And that is where you meet the huge queue. It is truly crowded. The counter starts to work at 8.00 am till 10.30 am to confirm the same day appointments. It functions in a partnership with TCS. And I have to say they move the queue fast. Still given the volume of humanity that appears at AIIMS OPD everyday you will wait for at least one hour or more in the line.
All online and offline appointments for the same day join this queue. Initially you may think there are people for other days standing in the queue, but no, all the people in the queue have the appointment for the same day. So be patient. They put a sticker on the card at the counter which tells you which room or floor to go to.
Going to the Relevant Department
Once you have the card ask for the directions to Rajkumari OPD. There are many people on the ground in uniforms, they will help. The security from the SIS is helpful too. Once you enter he OPD you go to the relevant floor. The psychiatry department is on the second floor. You show the OPD card to the guard and he would let you enter. You give the card to the attendant in relevant room and wait for the doctor.
Slowly you realize that doctors take time to arrive. But once they arrive, they work almost non-stop. Apparently if there is a sticker on your card you will be attended by the doctor on the same day.
Initially we were assigned to Room 4. Then we got reassigned to Room 19. My guess is that the senior doctor of Room 4 left early and his patients got reassigned to other doctors. But this is just a guess, he may have a medical emergency to attend for all I know.
Waiting for Your Turn
This was probably the toughest for us. The rooms are small and corridors narrow and it gets incredibly crowded. There is no place to sit or even stand. You get pushed and jostled all around.
The crowd starts to thin out around 12.00 noon and you may get to sit then. The security guard continuously goes around asking people not to sit such that the corridors or the doors to the doctor’s rooms get blocked! He has a difficult task as there is no place to go in that narrow corridor. AIIMS might have been grand when it was built but it desperately needs a bigger building now.
Eventually our turn came at 1.00 pm. This when we left home at 7.00 am so that we could get in the queue for registration at PRC around 8.00 am.
The doctor was kind and competent. He said, “looks like this was your first time, next time ask where your card is and then go out and have tea, roam around don’t sit here.” That was a sound advice. So if your card is after 25 people your turn will come after 2-3 hours. Don’t sit in the cramped place, go out.
There is a wash room on the same floor but with so many people it stinks by the afternoon. So when you head out, ask the guards at the main exit, show them your OPD card and they will say you can come back.
In case of SLD they the doctor would then refer you to take appointment from other specialists. I was asked to take two appointments, one for IQ test an the other for detailed history. For detailed history parents of the child are required to attend.
The Future Appointments
For SLD, the future appointments are given by the relevant doctors. This can’t be done online anymore. In case I handled, the future dates are for 1 and 2 months later!
To sum up, getting an appointment at the Psychiatry Department via the AIIMS App is easy if the child has an Aadhar card. While meeting the doctor be sure that you have a document from the school stating it recommended the pupil for a SLD test.
After reaching AIIMS be prepared for long queues both at the PRC and to meet the doctor. Your future appointments will be for a month later or more!
I was also told by other parents that CBSE requires this certificate every time a new decision is to be taken. So one would need to get the tests done separately for 10th and 12th standards.
I can now say with confidence that you can see a doctor at AIIMS even if you have no connections. You don’t need jugad. It may be tedious, it may test your patience but it is definitely possible!