Patients suffer as rats damage costly CT Scan at govt hospital

Ratodero, Sindh: Patients of the largest teaching hospital of Upper Sindh have to suffer a lot, as rats damaged the wiring of costly CT Scan machine due to sheer negligence.

The CT Scan machine at Chandka Medical College Hospital CMCH Larkana costing millions of rupees stopped functioning when its cables were damaged by rats. The UPS of this machine is out of order because of fluctuation in power supply. The machine has been non-functional since July 29 after working just for 2 months performance.

Karachi based suppliers of the machine in a letter to the CMCH authorities said two separate problems in the system were detected by them after thorough checking. They said they found that both units were damaged.

The letter further said that damage in the UPS is due to electric power failure, fluctuation in hospital input power supply and also due to unstable electric power supply and substandard power cables. They said the problem in CT Scan was first difficult to diagnose but later it was found that many cables of the CT Scan system in X-ray section, some control cables, gantry control cables and couch control cables were damaged by rats. The main detector upper cover is also found damaged by rats, the letter added.

The supplier stated that these damaged cables & parts have been physically repaired by them but their function can only be confirmed after electric power is available through UPS.

They have further revealed that CT Scan is not the first machine which has been damaged by these rats at the CMCH but recently X-ray machine and Carm were also damaged in the same manner which they repaired on complimentary basis.

The suppliers said that these damages are not covered under warranty but even then they have carried out necessary repairs but its functionality can only be confirmed after UPS is repaired which is not covered by warranty because it is due to fluctuation in hospital input power supply, therefore, CMCH has to bear the repair cost for which they sent a quotation amounting to Rs:7,10,000/ for payment and have demanded immediate availability of smooth & stable power supply to the CT Scan for calibration.

Four Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI & Computed Tomography CT Scan units were approved in 2006 on 50:50 cost sharing basis by federal & provincial governments for four teaching hospitals of Sindh costing Rs.564 million out of which two have been completed one each at Karachi & Hyderabad and two of interior Sindh are still lingering one each at Nawabshah and CMCH Larkana.

On September 16, 2013, the contractor who had to supply Pole Mounted Transformer PMT paid two challans as cost, each of Rs:3,66,000/ and Rs:2,38,010/ as security deposit and capital cost of 300 KW PMT.

This vital project for diagnostic purposes was executed by the Health Department Karachi directly which was to be completed within two years of its administrative approval but it is in limbo even today despite passage of seven long years which must also be probed due to which private centers are doing roaring business causing extra burden on the poor & needy patients of this largest teaching hospital of upper Sindh province.

Over 600 patients attend emergency Casualty of CMCH daily and over 2000 patients attend OPD daily which shows the importance of this tertiary care hospital.

Sources claimed that some vested interests were behind deliberate damage of machines so that some private laboratories and hospitals are benefited. They said the government charges are just Rs1500 for a CT Scan report, while the private facilities charge 400 to 500% more.

The sources said the involvement of corrupt hospital employees cannot also be ruled out which the government will have to unearth to save these & other costly machines in the CMCH.

These machines should also be insured properly, remarked a senior professor of Radiology.

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