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Mumbai prisons, hospitals lack in medical devices

india Updated: Nov 19, 2006 20:41 IST
Urvi Jappi
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Despite having more than 25,000 inmates in the 38 prisons/jails across the state, there are only 13 prison hospitals having basic medical machines and facilities required to treat prisoners. This is one of the primary grounds used by prisoners and even under-trials use for procuring bail.

There are 8 central prisons and 30 district prisons, including one open jail and open colony in Maharashtra. These have a housing capacity for 16,824 male and 943 female, totaling to 17,767 prisoners capacity. However, on an average there are 26,000 prisoners. But only 13 Prison Hospitals have bed.

As pointed out in an affidavit filed by Inspector General of Prisons Shrikant Savarkar in the Bombay High Court, only 13 Prison hospitals have minimum machines like ECG, X-Ray machines, Glucometer and Oxygen Cylinder. District prison hospitals in Bhandara, Yavtmal, Beed, Wardha, Nanded, Jalgaon Solapur Kolhapur and Satara do not have a proper hospital with bedding facility.

In certain cases the prisoners are then shifted to nearby civic hospitals which are not equipped with modern medical machines required for treating prisoners.

The civic hospitals are equipped with some modern machines like the ECHO Cardiography machine, heart-lung machine and CT Scan.

According to Nirmalchandra Pawar, Deputy Secretary of Medical Education and Drugs Department, even civic hospital like the JJ Hospital in Mumbai lacks stress test (tread mill) machine which is required to be carried out for prescribing treatment for patients with symptoms suggesting coronary artery disease.

The stress test machine procured at the JJ Hospital has been out of order since October 2004 and its condition is beyond repairs, states Pawar adding that the hospital has received Rs 1.1 crore to procure the tread mill, however, the decision is pending at the Directorate level. Besides, this the proposals are pending to purchase MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Ultrasonography, Ventilators and 3-D ECHO machines for the JJ Hospital.

The affidavits were placed before the HC in first week of November after Justice SC Dharmadhikari took cognisance of sorry state of affairs at civic hospitals while deciding bail application of an accused Sharad Teredesai who was advised to undergone cardiac angiography or stress test by doctors.

He sought bail stating that even hospital like JJ did not have the necessary equipment like stress test machine.

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