Private centres make hay while public suffers

Published on Mar 15, 2005 12:31 AM IST

THE PRIVATE X-ray clinics situated outside the city's two district hospitals are doing a brisk business these days. The X-ray plates have suddenly run out of stock at Tej Bahadur Sapru (Beli) and Moti Lal Nehru (Colvin) Hospitals and daily 150 to 200 patients are being referred to private X-ray centres from these hospitals.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | BySmriti Malaviya, Allahabad

THE PRIVATE X-ray clinics situated outside the city's two district hospitals are doing a brisk business these days. The X-ray plates have suddenly run out of stock at Tej Bahadur Sapru (Beli) and Moti Lal Nehru (Colvin) Hospitals and daily 150 to 200 patients are being referred to private X-ray centres from these hospitals.
Only some privileged patients are being reportedly provided X-ray plates at these hospitals. The serious fracture patients are also allegedly being forced to get their X-ray done at the private centres.
The sources informed that in the absence of X-ray plates, the X-ray unit has been temporary closed at the Beli Hospital.
"The two X-ray machines (100MA and 60MA) at the unit are not functioning any more. Whereas 20-year-old 300MA X-ray machine is lying defunct," said the source.
A senior doctor posted at Beli Hospital said the hospital administration was having a fund of Rs 20,000 for the purchase of X-ray plates. But the purchase was being delayed for no specific reason, he said.
The Colvin Hospital, with general daily OPD of 500 to 800 patients, is also facing the similar problem.
The orthopaedic and medicine OPD is daily referring 30 to 40 patients to the X-ray department.
A similar number of patients are also referred by the dental and surgery departments. But as the X-ray plates have been missing for last one month, and most of the patients are asked to conduct their X-ray at the private X-ray centres, said a senior doctor posted at Colvin Hospital. "Sometimes extremely poor patients are asked to buy only X-ray plates from outside. And we conduct the X-ray in the hospital itself," said the doctor.
Additional Director (Medical and Health) Dr SK Srivastava admitted that the two hospitals are facing serious crisis of X-ray plates.
The X-ray plates could have been purchased with the user charge money. “But the problem is that a large part of user charge money is being consumed in the generator fuel,” he said.
"There is no power during the OPD hours and the hospitals need to run generator for their smooth functioning," he said.
Dr Srivastava said sometimes due to poor turnout of patients, enough user charge money was not being collected to ensure regular supply of X-ray plates.
"However I'll also issue instructions to earmark a part of medicine budget for the purchase of X-ray plates. What I feel is that the hospitals are consuming the whole budget in the medicine itself," he said.
Dr Srivastava said the government would also be asked to increase the budget for the hospitals.

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