The new diagnostic imaging service centre at the civil hospital is likely to open 24x7 services for the patients in two months.
The centre will be providing affordable services under the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode with Ensocare, a healthcare division of Enso Group, Mumbai, signing an agreement with the Punjab government for providing services in 21 district hospitals.
The building of the diagnostic centre - adjoining the emergency ward - is expected to be ready by December 31 at an estimated cost of `50 lakh.
Once functional, the diagnostic centre will offer services like X-ray, CT scan, MRI, digital X-ray, ultrasound, mammography, dexa scan - a cancer scanning procedure - at an affordable government-fixed rates.
At present, the diagnostic facility at the hospital is scanty in want of staff and modern testing machines. The district hospital, which has daily footfall of 1,200 patients at the outpatient department (OPD), has only two radiologists and four radiographers. Though there are facilities of CT scan, ultrasound machine, mammography and X-ray, still it lags behind in catering the needs of patients. Moreover, it doesn't have digital X-ray facility so far.
Around 150 X-ray tests, 70 ultrasound scans and 15 CT scans are conducted daily at the hospital, and due to heavy rush, most of the patients have to go to private diagnostic centers, which charge hefty amount from them.
Besides, the patients, who visit the district hospital, are mostly of lower middle class and underprivileged section for whom paying such hefty amounts to private diagnostic centres is not possible.
However, once ready (by end of January), the new diagnostic centre will be able to serve them better with the modern diagnostic services at an affordable cost.
Ensocare is likely to depute 45 staff, including radiologists, radiographers and other allied employees, at the centre to provide round the clock services.
At present, the hospital needs two more radiologists and four more radiographers to make the servicer round the clock.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, medical superintendent Dr Jagjit Singh Cheema said: “There are some issues like providing round the clock facilities of X-ray tests, scanning, etc to the patients.”
Cheema said the upcoming 24-hour diagnostic centre at the hospital would be helpful in weeding out these issues.
Ensocare vice-chairman Dr Akil Khan said these centers would be built in 21 districts and would provide 24-hour services at the government-recommended rates for the benefit of the people.