A 24-hour diagnostic centre is set to open at the Jalandhar civil hospital soon as the engineering wing of the health department has requested the authorities concerned to take over the newly constructed building.
The engineering wing shot off a letter to the medical superintendent of the civil hospital last week in this connection after construction work of the building near the emergency ward of the hospital was completed.
The centre was supposed to open in March this year but its launch was deferred after model code of conduct came into force in the first week in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
GS Sandhu, executive engineer, said, "We have written a letter to the hospital authorities to take over the building since it is complete. Now, it is up to Ensocare to start offering services at the centre."
Ensocare, the healthcare division of Enso Group, Mumbai, had signed an agreement under public private partnership (PPP) mode with the Punjab government to provide affordable diagnostic services at the hospital.
The building of the centre has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 40 lakh, said Sandhu.
Outgoing medical superintendent Dr Jagjit Singh Cheema said, "We have received the letter and now we will hold a meeting in which the company representatives will be called to decide upon opening the centre at the earliest."
He said diagnostic facilities at the civil hospital were greatly affected as there was shortage of staff and up-to-date testing machines at present and the centre will be of great help to patients.
Ensocare vice-chairman Dr Akil Khan was unavailable for comments.Such centres will be built in 21 districts of the state to provide 24-hour services at the government-recommended rates to benefit people.
Once functional, the diagnostic centre will offer services like X-ray, CT scan, MRI, digital X-ray, ultrasound, mammography, dexa scan and cancer-scanning procedure at rates fixed by the government.
The civil hospital, which has a daily footfall of 1,000 patients at the out-patient department (OPD), has only two radiologists and four radiographers.
Even as there are facilities such as CT scan, ultrasound machine, mammography and X-ray, the hospital still fails to cater to the needs of patients.
Around 150 X-ray tests, 70 ultrasound scans and 15 CT scans are conducted everyday at the hospital, and due to heavy rush most of the patients have to go to private diagnostic centres, which charge hefty money.
Most of the patients who visit the district hospital belong to low-middle class families and underprivileged sections, to whom paying such amount is not possible.