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RIMS to change old dialysis units

RANCHI: For nearly five years, patients at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) were put on a haemodialysis machine that infused water contaminated with rust.

However, observations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) during audits from 2005-2010 have prompted it to put things on the right track.

It was after CAG observation that the old units of reverse osmosis membrane separation system (RO plant) and de-mineral (DM) plant were replaced. Currently, of the four dialysis units three are functional. The fourth is out of order for want of certain components.

The CAG found that purchase order for supply and installation of four units of haemodialysis machines were placed by the RIMS in February 2005 at a price of Rs 23.4 lakh on turnkey basis. "The firm installed the machines in October 2005 without supplying the two critical components i.e. RO plant and DM plant. The machines were made operational by using the old RO and DM plant supplied in 1999. As these components were very old, water contaminated with rust was being infused in the system causing complications to the patients," the report said.

Responding to this observation, the RIMS authorities pressed the matter with the suppliers and obtained new components, payment against which was already made. Dr Sanjay Singh said the three of the four machines were operational after installation of the RO and DM system, whereas the fourth would resume operation when certain parts became available in India.

The RIMS also purchased one cardiac defibrillator, three sets of ventilators, two operation theatre (OT) tables and two OT lights for the oncology department under the state plan for Rs 35.64 lakh between December 2007 and August 2009. But the machinery lay unused as the OT in the department was non-functional. Despite initial efforts, the oncology department could never become a fully operational unit.

A total of 18 beds were earmarked for the department and an OPD was started. However, the radiology unit never came into existence. A senior doctor at the medicine department said oncology was considered functional only when medicine oncology, surgical oncology and radio oncology facilities were available. "We are dealing with cases related to cancer in medicinal and surgical units separately," he said.

Asked about the purchase of equipment and machinery worth Rs 9.54 crore during 2005-10 as highlighted in the CAG report, RIMS director Tulsi Mahato said machinery and equipment were procured by an agency of the Union government and unless necessary preparations for their installation and operation were made it was not possible for the institute to use them. "Super-speciality centres required these machines and the building for such centres are yet to come up as a result of which machines and equipment are being used elsewhere," he said.

Mahato said following the CAG objections, most of the machines were either being used for medical purposes or for teaching and training purposes in the college. "We will soon advertise for appointment of doctors and technicians to operate these machines, once the super-speciality building is ready to install them."

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