Patients suffer, MS says hospital running short of space to accommodate MRI machine
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: After claims of alleged inadequate ICU beds for Covid management at the facility, the lack of MRI and ECHO facilities at Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag has come under severe criticism with the patients, alleging it to be a reason of immense hardships.
The people in the district were jubilant when GMC was made operational back in 2018, hoping that it would put an end to the trouble they were facing while travelling to Srinagar to seek treatment for their ailments.
However, more than two years later, the facility continues to remain without facilities like MRI and ECHO again, forcing the patients either to visit Srinagar hospitals or private diagnostic centers, which only added to their miseries.
Since the facility started functioning two years ago, the government, according to official sources, released nearly Rs 70 crore for raising the infrastructure of the GMC.
However, despite the huge availability of money, the health care facility continues to function with almost the same facilities it had earlier at the time of being a district hospital.
“Due to the non-availability of MRI facilities in the medical college patients are forced to go to SKIMS, SMHS or private diagnostic centers to get the test done. Most of the patients in order to avoid the trouble of covering long distances to Srinagar prefer to visit the lone MRI facility in the town where they are charged at will. Since the diagnostic center has no competition in the town, patients are charged much more than that of Srinagar MRI centers,” said a doctor posted at GMC Anantnag.
The cardiology department which is run by a single doctor has no Echocardiogram facility badly telling upon the pockets of poor patients at private diagnostic centers.
“At private diagnostic centers, patients are made to pay Rs 1600 to Rs 1700 for ECHO. It is ironic that patients even for ECHO have to move to private diagnostic centers. It is a joke in the name of healthcare,” a Para-medic said.
If the facility is made available in the hospital,, he said, the charges for ECHO won’t be more than 500 Rs thus poor patients will get a major relief.
In the absence of MRI doctors are left with no option but to refer the patients needing immediate MRI investigation to Srinagar hospitals.
“Many a time such patients die on the way to Srinagar due to delayed treatment,” a source told Precious Kashmir.
An official said that JK Medical Corporation has floated tenders for the ECHO facility and money for the same has also been released to the corporation.
“We are expecting the arrival of the machine in one month,” the official said.
Medical Superintendent, GMC Anantnag Dr Mohammad Iqbal said that getting an MRI machine for the hospital is a small issue but added that they don’t have a space to install that,” MS said.