Robot haunts PGI admn ahead of audit report

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2015 11:54 IST

For keeping a robotic surgery unit idle for around a year and a half, the administration of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, is set to get a rap from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

Sources told HT that, during the audit of accounts, CAG officials raised questions about the hurry in purchasing the Rs 20-crore unit even when the infrastructure to make it work was not ready. The loss due to delay has been pegged at Rs 1.5 crore.

It was in the beginning of 2013 that the institute floated tenders for the robotically-assisted surgery unit for the department of urology; it helps overcome limitations of minimally-invasive surgery and enhances the capabilities of surgeons performing open surgery. It was purchased in June 2013.

But work on the operation theatre where it was to be installed started a month after the robot reached the institute. The installation, for which 12 private rooms were dismantled at Nehru Hospital, took around a year. Finally, the department performed its first robot-assisted surgery in November 2014.

Sources said a clarification had been sought from different sections of the institute about the ill-planning and haste. The final report of the CAG on PGIMER accounts will be out in a couple of months.

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