Hospital-private lab nexus: SMHS’ defunct mammography machine burns a hole in patients’ pockets

According to the patients, due to the defunct machine, they are being forced to get the test done in private labs.
File photo of Srinagar's tertiary care hospital, SMHS. [Image for representational purpose only]
File photo of Srinagar's tertiary care hospital, SMHS. [Image for representational purpose only] Mubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: The patients at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in Srinagar are facing inconvenience as the Mammography machine in the Radiology Department has been lying defunct for several weeks.

Mammography is an x-ray imaging machine, which is used for detecting breast cancer and is a vital piece of equipment for the hospital, and its failure has caused a backlog of patients who need to undergo the screening test.

According to the patients, due to the defunct machine, they are being forced to get the test done in private labs.

"We come to this hospital with hope. I have come here from a far-off place, but it is disappointing that we have to go to private centres to get the test done. This drains us financially and mentally," said Afaq Ahmad of Kulgam.

A group of aggrieved attendants said that the patients who had to undergo such tests are already depressed and when they are being asked to visit private labs for this test, this aggravates their health condition.

"We request the hospital administration to thoroughly check the maintenance and services of these important machines in the government hospitals. Every patient cannot get this test done in a private lab," they said.

The hospital management has been receiving a lot of complaints from the patients.

They have assured of taking the necessary steps to avoid such incidents in the future.

The hospital management also urged the patients who have appointments scheduled in the next few days to contact the hospital for rescheduling.

Medical Superintendent, SMHS Hospital, Dr Muzaffar Zargar told Greater Kashmir that they would soon repair the mammography machine.

“We are on it and the machine will be functional in a few days,” he said.

“An engineer has come to repair the machine and check the service of medical equipment. We have talked to the engineer and the matter will be solved within a day," Dr Zargar said.

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