Come for MRI in 2020, Mumbai’s largest civic hospital tells Konkan farmer
Planning to get an MRI scan done at Nair Hospital, Mumbai’s largest civic facility? Be prepared to wait till 2020 or get referred to periphery hospitals, thanks to the long waiting list at the overburdened radiology department that has only one MRI machine. The KEM Hospital in Parel is slightly better, with appointments being given only after July 25, 2019, while Sion hospital fares the best with a waiting time of three months.
The recent victim of the long wait was Arun Nar, a 55-year-old farmer, who came to Nair hospital from Konkan, but had to discontinue the treatment and return home. “My father has constant leg pain. Doctors from the outpatient department (OPD) of Nair Hospital suggested we get an MRI scan done. But at the MRI department, we were given an appointment for February 15, 2020. There was no way he could wait here for so long. He returned immediately,” said Arun’s son, Nilesh.
The MRI department of Nair Hospital day gets 50-60 patients daily, requesting earliest possible appointments for quicker diagnosis and treatment. But the hospital is able to perform only 12-15 MRIs daily. “We feel bad telling patients to come after 15-16 months, but there is no other way out as the machine can only perform as many MRI scans in a day. MRI scans cost between Rs 8,000- Rs15,000 at private centres, but we do it for Rs 2,500. We understand the patients are helpless. At times, if they can’t afford it, we give them a further discount or do it for free,” said a resident doctor from Nair Hospital.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, Nair Hospital, said single shift is also an issue. “We have posted contact numbers and other details of MRI departments of four periphery hospitals and a trust-run hospital where the patients can visit and get the investigations done at civic rates. We also consider the urgency while giving appointments,” he said.
Apart from the number of patients, KEM Hospital in Parel has another problem. “The MRI gantry (bed that slides inside the machine) is bent and can’t carry more than 80kg. So anybody who weighs more than 80kg can’t get the investigation done at the hospital,” said a resident doctor from KEM Hospital.