September 29, 2020

Firm blow to health tests

Patna: Ultrasounds and X-rays have come to a halt in the state after a 10-year contract with a private agency ended, with patients left in a bind how to get their prescribed procedures done.

While X-rays have stopped at 350 government hospitals since Wednesday, ultrasounds have stopped at nearly 80 hospitals for the government’s lack in making alternative arrangements in time.

Health department’s secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “The State Health Society Bihar had signed a 10-year contract with IGEMS in 2008 and it ended this month. Since it was an old contract, we did not see value in its extension. The private agency had not provided radiologists at the ultrasound facilities, which is against the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. Right now we are working on starting ultrasound and X-ray tests in-house. Civil surgeons have been directed to make arrangements to provide these services at their levels, with the help of private agencies.”

But in place of an alternative arrangement by the department, patients are having a tough time.

Renu Devi, who went for an ante-natal check-up at the Lalganj referral hospital in Vaishali district on Friday, returned disappointed. “The authorities said the ultrasound test had been stopped since April 25. The state government is creating awareness about ante-natal check-ups but why are they not fixing these problems then,” asked Renu.

Bhola Paswan, a road accident victim rushed to the Marwan primary health centre in Muzaffarpur district, was referred to Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital because an X-ray was not possible at the health centre.

Patna civil surgeon Pramod Kumar Jha said X-rays are not being done at 36 hospitals in the district. “We have been asked to hire some other private agency,” said Pramod, adding that Patna’s condition was not as worrisome because of facilities available at Patna Medical College and Hospital, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.

A doctor of the Forbesganj sub-divisional hospital in Araria, who didn’t wish to be named, said ultrasound and X-rays have stopped there for a long time. “X-rays have stopped here for at least three years and ultrasound tests were stopped around 10 months ago. IGEMS withdrew operations, claiming non-payment of dues,” he said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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