Vital machines defunct in GMC Anantnag

Greater Kashmir

With vital diagnostic machines lying defunct in Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag, the patients are compelled to get tests done from private clinical laboratories often at hefty prices.

A medic said that the bio-chemistry analyzer in the hospital was defunct for four months. “The analyzer developed a snag in July and in August it was set right but it functioned for a few days only. In September again an engineer fixed the machine, but it soon stopped working,” he said.

The medic said that the patients are forced to get investigations like KFT, LFT, Lipid profile done at private laboratories. “They have to dole out at least Rs 1000 for the tests which they could do for just Rs 100 at the hospital,” he said.

Another medic said that even the CBC Analyzer remained mostly defunct and the hospital was unable to carry various pathological investigations. “The arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis machine hardly remains functional due to the non-availability of reagents,” he said.

He said that the hospital did not even conduct sputum tests and instead forced the patients to go to TB hospital.

“The ECG, USG, X-Ray machines go defunct because most of the time they are being operated by untrained staff working on Hospital Development Fund (HDF),” he said.

The medic said that it had been more than two years since the hospital was upgraded to GMC, “but it is still devoid of vital machines”.

The hospital is even without an echocardiogram. “In absence of ECHO, the cardiologists are forced to refer the patients to SMHS or SKIMS,” he said.

The medic said that the poor patients at times have to shell out Rs 1500 on ECHO at private diagnostic clinics.

The patients complained that the hospital did not conduct any of the tests in the evening hours. “It is ironical that the hospital does not entertain investigations in evening and night hours; the patients are told to get it done outside at private clinics,” a patient said.

Medical Superintendent (MS), GMC Anantnag, Dr Muhamad Iqbal, said that they had procured new biochemistry and CBC analyzer and would be installing them soon.

On the absence of echocardiogram, the MS said that the hospital had already sent a requisition for it and Rs 25 lakh had been released to JK Medical Supplies Corporation Limited “but the tendering is yet to be done”.