CT scans ‘become’ defunct; injured left in lurch

JAMMU: Civil Adminis-tration in Jammu and Kashmir was found wanting yet again on Tuesday to meet the crisis like situation, this time in the wake of border shelling from Pakistan. Exposed in coping up with recent landslides and flood havoc in parts of the State, the government machinery did not respond to the needs of those injured in shelling in Arnia and other villages along International Border.

As the injured were brought to Government Medical College (GMC) Hospital in Jammu, the attendants were shocked to learn that both the CT scan machines were out of order. The third one, installed under Private Public Partnership mode, refused to diagnose the injured unless payments were made, as the private players do not carry out free scanning of even the people below the poverty line.
Under rules, the private CT Scan installed in GMC is bound to carry out 20 per cent scans free of cost-in case of patients belonging to financially weaker sections. This forced the attendants to get scans done at private labs on whopping charges. Some of the injured were referred to Chest Disease Hospital and SMGS Hospital, as the premier referral institution of the region remained virtually without the facility. Taking advantage of the situation, the private CT Scan Labs deployed vehicles and their representatives at the GMC to carry patients for scanning. The misery of injured turned out as boon for the private players.
“No wonder the CT scans have been deliberately rendered defunct for obvious reasons”, alleged some agitated relatives, who were seen screaming over the apathy of the hospital management.
“The border villagers admitted in GMC Hospital are critical with severe bullet injuries. Leaders from all the political parties have been visiting here, assuring¬†about specialising treatment but these turn as just photo ops”, said Chander Prakash of Arnia village, whose wife is admitted in GMC with severe head injury.
Similar is the condition of Bagwanti, whose son is being treated without CT scan having been conducted despite having been advised by the doctors, as she is not in a position to take her son to the private center.
“Doctors have advised me to take him to SMGS hospital for free test. But I cannot take her alone there”, she lamented, adding “my brother is coming tomorrow from Madhya Pardesh, and will take my son to SMGS hospital”.
Sources told STATE TIMES that the Health and Medical Education Department has outsourced the diagnostic test in respect of CT Scan by roping in a Pune based firm, which has intriguingly got the contract without calling bids by the government. The firm, Krisna Diagnostics has installed a CT Scan machine at GMC hospital and deployed technicians and radiologist on its own. The patients have to make the payments as approved by the government. This has created disparity with Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients getting scanned free of charges from the GMC section while those referred to the private segment are required to make the payments.
This has also opened up a vicious circle for unscrupulous elements to exploit the patients. Which patient goes to which section is to be decided by the Medical Superintendent?
According to the contract, the GMC has to provide space to the company without paying anything to the Hospital. The company has made one time investment on installing the machine.