Representational Photo
Representational PhotoFile/ GK

Damaged X-ray machine, lack of staff hits patient care at Hajin hospital

Bandipora, Aug 2: Patients at Hajin CHC Hospital in north Kashmir's Bandipora district have been facing trouble for nearly two months. The reason: Rats damaged the cable of the X-ray machine rendering it useless.

The hospital authorities have "failed" to repair or replace the machine despite repeated requests from the staff and the locals. The X-ray machine is a major source of revenue for the hospital, as per sources, earning over 1.5 lakhs per month. Now, it lies idle in a corner, collecting dust for almost twenty days, an insider said.

The locals said patients who need X-ray tests have no choice but to travel to other hospitals or pay hefty fees at private clinics. This is especially hard for those who are poor and live in remote areas. They have to spend extra time, money, and energy to get the basic health care service.

The locals are angry and frustrated with the situation. They say that the hospital administration is negligent. "We are not against private lab owners for earning the revenue from patients, but it hurts when those who could hardly afford to live are being forced to run from pillar to post to avail the facility," a local said.

The hospital insiders said that they receive two to three impoverished patients who need X-ray tests every day, but they have to turn them away with a "sorry face". "Unfortunately, the machine is lying unattended despite earning the hospital a monthly revenue of over 1.5 lakhs," a hospital official told Greater Kashmir.

The hospital is not only facing the issue of a broken X-ray machine. It also lacks night staff, technicians, a physician, an ophthalmologist, a gynecologist, and doctors for night shifts. The locals say that they are forced to either visit Sumbal or other hospitals to seek treatment for their ailments. "Some doctors achieved superannuation while a physician was transferred but no replacement has been made available," an insider said.

The community health center (CHC) Hajin, locals say, serves dozens of villages of Hajin and surrounding areas. Chief Medical Officer Bandipora, Dr Rafi AhamdSalati, acknowledged that the X-ray machine at CHC Hajin was dysfunctional.

He said the company has been approached and they are waiting for the machine's part to arrive from outside UT. He said the part that needs to be replaced has been ordered. "The machine will be functional soon", he said. However, even after elapsing more than fifteen days since CMO assured its restoration, the machine remains dysfunctional, and locals are aghast.

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