Following massive public outrage at the decision to shut down clinical services including the OPD until 2.30 pm on Monday, 22 January, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Sunday clarified that the decision had been reversed. All those services will now remain open.
The decision to shut down the services on Monday had been communicated on Saturday in pursuance to the Central government’s notification declaring a half-day holiday on 22 January to coincide with the pran pratishtha (consecration) of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Lawyer, author and activist Kapil Sibal had reacted in horror and quipped, “In Ram Rajya this would never have happened!” Former Union health secretary Sujata K. Rao was equally disapproving. “It’s totally unacceptable, no matter how important an occasion be to shut down AIIMS or any hospital, clinic or essential services. This is very wrong and nothing short of a crude and brazen abuse of power. Shameful. Karma will hit us,” she posted on X.
Army veteran Anil Duhoon wondered aloud why, if Indian airspace was not shut, trains not halted, road traffic not stopped, and the police still working, why should hospitals shut down?