Though well-equipped radiology rooms have been set up in four civil hospitals in the Sangrur district, yet there are no permanent radiologists to operate the machines.
Four sanctioned posts of radiologists for government hospitals in Sangrur, Sunam, Dhuri and Malerkotla are lying vacant for the past seven years, paralysing ultrasounds and X-ray facilities in these hospitals. The district health officials have somehow managed after giving special training to MMBS doctors to run ultrasounds centers in Sangrur, Malerkotla and Sunam for three days a week, on a temporary basis, from the past three months. However, for the rest of the three days, facilities have been put on hold, thus, compelling the patients to go for private radiology centers that fleece them.
Emergency cases related to pregnancies, deliveries and cases of accidents go unheeded. An ultrasound test at a government institution costs between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500, while private radiologists charge between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 1500.
Thriving on the unavailability of these facilities, ultrasound and X-ray centers have mushroomed outside the premises of government hospitals. “We have no option but to approach private ultrasound centers, which charge on their own sweet wish,” said Pradeep Sharma, a local resident.
Civil Surgeon Dr HS Bali said he was aware of the situation and had written to senior authorities many times. “The posts are lying vacant for the past many years. The state government had appointed many radiologists, but no one came to join,” Dr Bali informed, saying that like Sangrur , the Mansa district too was facing an acute shortage of radiologists.
He added that few MBBS doctors had been assigned on deputation to provide ultrasounds facilities in government institutions for three days a week. “It has been very difficult to provide ultrasound and X-ray facilities throughout the week,” he said.