The X-ray films stolen from the radio-diagnosis department of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have been made ‘case property’ by the police after the arrest of three sweepers of the institute. This means that the around 400 patients to whom these films belong are not going to get them in the near future.
Three contractual workers working in the department were arrested on Monday for stealing the films that were part of basic X-ray tests, and MRI and CT scans, and had been kept near the fee window for delivery. The three men put them in garbage carts and intended to sell them off for the silver and lead that they thought were part of the films’ composition. However, the films these days do not have the metals, and were worth Rs 200 for plastic in the junk market.
“We have made the films case property as per procedure. The complainant can claim the films from court by filing an application,” said Gurmakh Singh, station house officer of the Sector-11 police.
That procedure may take several weeks, if not months, say legal experts.
Sources said the department was also struggling to find record of patients whose X-ray films were stolen. Many had waited out long waiting lists, and some of the tests were performed in the emergency units, and were thus required immediately for doctors’ consultation, said sources.
A consultant in the department said the record of few patients was in computers, so most would have to get re-tested. Not only would these tests cost more if the patients are not willing to be on the waiting lists again, but even at the PGIMER the rates for CT scan and related tests are up to Rs 3,000.