Berhampur: The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine in the MKCG Medical College and Hospital here has been lying defunct for the last nine months. The MKCG authority is paying huge amount of money to the private diagnostic centres for reimbursing the bill of the indoor and outdoor patients.
The MKCG has already paid Rs 79.94 lakh to a privately managed diagnostic centre situated near the main gate of the MKCG for six months from November 2022 to April 2023. This was revealed in an information sheet of the RTI application sought by Pitabash Panda, local advocate and spokesperson of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee.
When patients in accident cases are being admitted in MKCG daily who urgently require brain scan in MRI machine and are eligible to get the scan done free of cost, the authorities are forwarding them to the privately managed two diagnostic centres situated near the MKCG main gate, sources said.
The brain scans cost Rs 6,000 in private diagnostic centres but are free for indoor and outdoor patients of the MKCG. Since the MRI machine in MKCG is lying defunct, all these patients are being referred to the private diagnostic centres after getting their names registered in the MRI unit. The MKCG authority is paying the charges of the brain scans on behalf of the patients.
But this whole process puts a big question mark on spending huge amounts on the private sector at a time when the Rs 10-crore machine is lying idle inside MKCG. The patients, who require immediate diagnosis and treatment, have to stand in queue at private diagnostic centres.
One MRI unit had been running in the MKCG in the public-private participation mode since 2016. The MKCG MRI unit used to charge Rs 4,000 per person. But in November 2017, there was a short circuit during some electrical repair works and the machine got damaged. A new MRI machine was inaugurated in the MKCG on January 16, 2018.
Though the unit was accommodated in the Radio-Diagnostic Department and runs on PPP mode, no charges are imposed on hospital patients since 2018.
Instead of keeping diagnostic centres idle and pushing its patients into trouble, the MKCG authority must arrange a new MRI machine or repair it, Pitabash said.
He said payments of Rs 4.44 crore and Rs 5.11 crore were made for the years 2021-22 and 2022-23 towards security personnel when the services were outsourced to private agencies. Similarly, payments of Rs 25.62 lakh and Rs 16.05 lakh for the years 2021-22 and 2022-23 have been made by the MKCG to the lift operator. Both the security system and the lifts in MKCG are in a shambles, Pitabash alleged.
(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)