Karnataka:Important state run Karnataka government hospitals have expensive medical equipment lying in a state of neglect for the past many years. This, in the absence of statutory compliance from authorities in some places and missing manpower in others. Patients who happen to be bearing the brunt of it have started turning towards private hospitals for diagnostic tests.
However , according to the Hindu, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India while addressing the state of affairs has stated that although a majority of the hospitals had scanners, X-ray machines, treadmill, echocardiogram and other diagnostic facilities they lay unused in the absence of technicians to run them.
A test run on 29 city hospitals by the audit team showed six district and six teaching hospitals, two super-speciality hospitals and 15 general hospitals had not obtained statutory compliance from Fire Services authorities; they also did not have Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB) compliance for X-ray and CT scan units; biomedical waste management was still to be procured from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board ; the Excise Department had yet to grant permission for storing spirit and narcotic drugs; finally, the Karnataka State Drugs Control Department had to be turned to for a licence to run blood banks.
The audit team also brought to light the fact that the test check on X ray and ultra sound scanner facilities showed 18 of the 49 X ray machines in 11 hospitals were not in running order; 9 of the 14 ultrasound scanners were not functional in eight of the hospitals taken a round; these included two scanners that were still lying uninitialised in general hospitals of Nanjangud and Chincholi ;while three others that had been installed in Hiriyur General Hospital, Shivamogga Institute of Medical Sciences, and Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubballi had not been put to use.
The absence of radiologists in three hospitals namely: Vijayapura District Hospital, Shivamogga Institute of Medical Sciences and KIMS Hubballi had ultra sound machines lying idle.
The audit team also discovered that the mandatory CT scanners for district and teaching hospitals have not been installed in seven hospitals. Spiral CT installed in Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences in November 2014 was also awaiting clearance from the AERB.
Mr. Sharan Prakash R. Patil, Minister of State for Medical Education, is likely to call for an explanation from the hospitals.
“It is the duty of the hospital authorities to obtain permits and appoint technicians to run the equipment if they have been installed. We will take action at the earliest to ensure patients are not deprived of these high-end diagnostic facilities,” he said. He had not gone through the CAG report at the time of making this statement.