Medical equipment worth crores unused in public hospitals: CAG report
A shortage of doctors and trained staff in government-run hospitals and health centres has led to medical equipment such as blood-storage units, ultrasound and X-ray machines worth crores not being utilised, said Comptroller and Auditor General of India report on the National Health Mission.
The report said 428 machines and equipment worth Rs 30.39 crore are not being used at several healthcare facilities in the district and village centres.
Despite financial assistance and the availability of medical equipment, services aren’t provided to patients because there is no trained staff to run the machines, said the report. At some places, there is no room to instal the equipment.
The services shortfall at sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres in the 28 states/Union territories ranged between 24% and 38%. The shortfall was more than 50% in five states -- Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
In 13 states, at least 67 PHCs were functioning without a doctor, highlighting the ill-equipped state of primary healthcare to treat patients, said the CAG report.
A shortage of doctors and paramedical staff was observed in almost all selected facilities, which compromised the quality of health care being administered.
There is not enough trained manpower to run basic lifesaving equipment, with many hospitals not using ultrasound machines, X-ray, ECG, cardiac monitors, auto-analyser, incinerator, operatiopn-theatre equipment and blood-storage units that have been procured.
Under the Union health ministry’s bio-medical equipment maintenance initiative, states have to plan interventions for comprehensive maintenance of medical equipment and machinery. The Ministry has also shared model contract documents for guidance.
“We are working towards plugging the gaps,” C K Mishra, health secretary, told HT.
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