Sans CT scan, digital X-ray machine, patients suffer in GMC & AH Rajouri

Regarded as the premier health institution in Rajouri and Poonch districts after it was recently upgraded as an Associated Hospital for Government Medical College, the Rajouri hospital is functioning without a CT scan or a digital X-ray machine since the past several months.

The Rajouri hospital, which was upgraded from district hospital to Government Medical College and Associated Hospital (GMC&AH), caters to the needs of lakhs of people in Rajouri, Poonch and Mahore sub-division of Reasi district. The makeshift campus of GMC Rajouri has also been setup inside the GMC&AH.

Despite being a vital institution, GMC&AH has been functioning without a CT scan for five months and sans a digital X-ray machined since the past three months, sources said.

“At present, only manual (water-based) X-ray is possible in the hospital. To get a CT scan or a digital X-ray done, the patients have to visit private centres,” they said.

Mohammad Arif, a resident of Rajouri, said, “CT scan and digital X-ray are the two basic facilities in any hospital, especially the ones that cater to such a vast population. It is the gross failure of the government machinery that these vital services are unavailable in the hospital.”

Another resident, Subash Chander, said, “Poor patients have to pay hefty amounts in private centres to get a digital X-ray or a CT scan done.”

On being contacted, Medical Superintendent of Rajouri hospital, Dr Suresh Gupta, said, “A new digital X-ray machine has been installed recently in the hospital. Besides, the old one is also functional at present.”

Replying to a question about the CT scan, he said, “The hospital has a single slice machine, but the MCI guidelines say that at least a 16 slice machine should be installed in the hospital. The machine remains defunct most of the times and the concerned engineers fail to rectify the snags.”