PET scan facility at SKIMS ready, but awaits inauguration

“The SKIMS administration directed the department to close the facility till it is inaugurated,” the source said.

Zehru Nissa
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 3 2018 11:49PM | Updated Date: Jan 4 2018 1:39AM
PET scan facility at SKIMS ready, but awaits inaugurationFile Photo

After years of delay, the PET scan facility, which allows doctors to check diseases in a body, will finally be available at the Sher-e-Kashmir institute of medical sciences (SKIMS) here from 7th of this month.

A source told Greater Kashmir that the PET scan is ready for use and is likely be inaugurated on January 7.

The source said that although the facility has been ready for use for more than a month now, its inauguration has been planned to be done by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

On 22 December last year, the SKIMS’ nuclear medicine department carried out “some” PET scans on cancer patients, the source said, but the very next day, the facility was shut again.

“The SKIMS administration directed the department to close the facility till it is inaugurated,” the source said.

“We have asked patients to wait for some time till we are able to use the facility. Hopefully, it will be inaugurated as planned,” a senior doctor at SKIMS said.

The PET scan facility, the first in Kashmir, was announced in 2012. However, since then, there has been delay in making it available to the ‘rising’ number of cancer patients in Kashmir. Due to the lack of facility in Kashmir, patients had to spend huge amounts in travel, boarding, lodging and PET scan, often at private hospitals, outside the state.

In 2016, part of the delay was caused by the incumbent administration of SKIMS that disapproved the site for PET scan that had been cleared by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), after many rounds of inspections. A new location, as per official communication of the institute, had been proposed, which was strongly objected to by experts who contended that the previous site approval took years and changing the location would further delay the process.

Subsequently in October 2016, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti directed the SKIMS to expedite setting up of PET scan facility. Later, she also announced that she would “personally monitor” its timely completion and directed the authorities to give her “monthly updates regarding the progress”.