MRI facility not available in Kupwara, people aghast

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Representational ImageFile/ GK

Kupwara: The health sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district presents a grim picture as authorities have failed to establish a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility unit in this district with the result people are suffering badly.

The residents said that due to non-availability of an MRI facility unit in Kupwara, people are forced to visit Srinagar to undergo the test by paying a huge amount.

Greater Kashmir has learnt that in the year 2017-2018 government had released over Rs five crore for procurement of 1.5 Tesla MRI Scanner to be installed at Sub District Hospital (SDH) Kupwara but the procurement is yet to be made.

Former Rajya Sabha Member (MP) Mir Fayaz told Greater Kashmir that during his tenure as Rajya Sabha Member, he ensured Rs 5.63 crore from the Union Health ministry for procurement of an MRI machine which was to be installed at SDH Kupwara.

He said that after the amount was released, he was informed by health officials at Kupwara that the cost of said machine goes beyond the approved amount.

“Earlier according to the report of a five member committee framed by the then Chief Medical Officer Kupwara for procurement of MRI machine, I was told that the cost of machine stands at Rs five crore and once I ensured the amount from central government, I was informed that the amount does not qualify to the cost of machine,” Fayaz added.

He said that the amount is still unutilised and since Kupwara happens to be a border district, the central government should approve the remaining required amount for procurement of MRI machine so that the hardships being faced by the people of Kupwara may end.

An official at Chief Medical Office Kupwara, said that the actual cost of the MRI machine is Rs 11 crore, “If government approves the remaining Rs six crore, the machine would be installed at SDH Kupwara within a month,” he said.

The official said that they have given many representations to the higher ups with regard to installation of an MRI machine at SDH Kupwara but nothing concrete has materialised so far.

The residents have sought immediate intervention of Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather in this regard so that the machine could be installed at SDH Kupwara on war footing.

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