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Doctor scarcity affects MGM

Jamshedpur, Dec. 21: Only two years have passed since the CT scan machine was brought in at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College and Hospital for a cost of Rs 1.4 crore, but the instruments is no longer being used.

For over three months now, the machine is lying defunct due to dearth of doctors at the radiology department. And the patients at the government hospital are getting ultrasound test and CT scan done from other clinics.

The head of the radiology department A.K. Verma, who was looking after CT scan, X-ray and ultrasound, retired from service in September this year. And another doctor of the department Parash Nath Ram was transferred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) which left the department with no doctors.

Ever since the CT scan machine was installed at the hospital, patients flocked in as the charge here was nominal compared to private clinics, nursing homes and hospital.

At private clinic the charges range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, in MGM it was somewhere around Rs 800 to Rs 2,000. For ultrasound, it was Rs 350 or Rs 400, whereas in the medical college hospital patients were charged Rs 150.

Now in the absence of doctors, the staff conducts the X-ray but the patients do not get the reports.

There are three ultrasound machines in the hospital, one at the gynaecological department, and the other two at the chamber of the head of the radiology department, but none are used. Even when the doctors were there, the machines were hardly used.

Shurekha Ram, a woman undergoing treatment for gall bladder stone, said that four months ago she underwent a ultrasound test at the hospital at Rs 150 only but her husband had to ask the hospital superintendent to arrange for it at the hospital.

"A.K. Verma had asked my husband to get the ultrasound test done from outside. But as my husband knew that there is ultrasound machine in the radiology department, he immediately went to the then superintendent R.Y. Choudhury. After the hospital superintendent interfered and asked Verma to do the ultrasound test, he conducted the test," said Shurekha.

G.S. Baraik, the acting superintendent of MGM Medical College and Hospital, confirmed that none of the tests are being conducted at the radiology department now. "The former superintendent had written to the health department to appoint radiologist soon after A.K. Verma retired, but no one has been appointed till now," he said.

A doctor, on condition of anonymity, said earlier A.K. Verma would send the patients to private clinics for tests as he would get commission from them.
Source:telegraphindia.com

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