Defunct radiation machine at Mumbai hospital leaves patients hassled

The Linear Accelerator (LINAC) equipment was being used to treat tumours in more than 90 women cancer patients daily, but has been lying defunct since June 2017.
Patients at Cama and Albless Hospital have been forced to find radiation treatment elsewhere after a Rs20-crore state-of-the-art radiation therapy machine broke down 11 months ago.(HT File (Representational Image))
Patients at Cama and Albless Hospital have been forced to find radiation treatment elsewhere after a Rs20-crore state-of-the-art radiation therapy machine broke down 11 months ago.(HT File (Representational Image))
Published on Apr 19, 2018 01:11 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySadaguru Pandit

Patients at Cama and Albless Hospital have been forced to find radiation treatment elsewhere after a Rs20-crore state-of-the-art radiation therapy machine broke down 11 months ago.

The Linear Accelerator (LINAC) equipment was being used to treat tumours in more than 90 women cancer patients daily, but has been lying defunct since June 2017. Patients are instead being referred to the overburdened Tata Memorial Hospital (TMC) or other expensive private hospitals.

“The department used to be frequented by cancer patients since, but since last year, at least two doctors and other staff who used to conduct the therapy have been sitting idle,” said a staff member of the women and children’s speciality hospital.

The machine was installed in 2013 and is under warranty for one more year, during which the US-based manufacturer Varian Medical Systems is responsible for repairs. However, the equipment company is currently involved in a dispute with the JJ Group of Hospitals, and allegedly claims that the repairs can only take place by June 2018. “We paid 90% of the amount and as per the contract, it’s supposed to be handed over to the state after which we will pay the remaining 10%. During this period, the manufacturers bear the responsibility but they have refused to do so until full payment is made,” said a hospital employee.

Dr Rajashri Katke, medical superintendent of Cama Hospital, said the manufacturer’s representatives visited the hospital on April 18 to discuss repairs. “It’s not a serious issue,” he said.

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