Fautly USG facility hits patient care at CD Hospital

Signifying messy state of affairs, authorities at Chest Diseases Hospital here have failed to get a faulty ultra-sonography (USG) facility restored, causing immense problems to patients.

Currently, the USG machine at the hospital is being used for Chest USG only while patients requiring USG of abdomen are being sent outside the hospital to get the test done. This, a doctor at the hospital said, puts patients through immense inconvenience.

“Firstly it costs them a lot monetarily. Secondly, sometimes, we need only a small part scanned and immediate report, which is not possible as the facility is not working here,” he said. He added that USG was a basic diagnostic test that is available even in sub-district hospitals. “This is a tertiary care hospital and for so many months, our patients are being deprived of this facility,” he said.

A doctor alleged that the machine was being kept out of order “deliberately by people with vested interests”. “Many complaints by doctors have already been sent to administration in this regard,” he said.

Even, the chest USG, a source at the hospital said was started only weeks ago, after it was ‘discovered’ that the machine, that had been locked up for months and labeled “defunct” was actually in working condition.

“For the past seven months, no USG facility was available at the hospital as the technicians that run it had stated that it was not running,” a source said. During this period, he said, all patients needing USG had to get it done from outside the hospital. He said that a team of doctors, moved by problems faced by patients, last month decided to check the equipment and found that it was working.

Head of department pulmonology, Dr Naveed Nazir Shah confirmed that USG facility was “partly functional” at the hospital. He said that the administration had been apprised of the issue and the urgent requirement for making full-fledged USG available to patients. He refused to comment about the allegations of “deliberate snags” in the equipment saying “the matter was being examined.” “It is old equipment but for now, we are able to scan many patients, even though it is partly functional,” he said.

Medical superintendent CD Hospital, Dr Saleem Tak said that the hospital had requisitioned for a fresh USG machine. “The equipment we have here is very old and gives low resolution images. We have sought a new one,” he said. He however didn’t specify the time frame within which the machine will be procured.  “The equipment is to be supplied by JK medical supplies corporation (JKMSC). It depends on them,” he said.