CUTTACK: Even as the kidney and bone marrow transplant units at SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH), Cuttack have been hugely successful in rendering services to the needy poor patients of the State, the expansion of transplant facilities seems to have fallen victim to Government apathy.
While the State’s first liver transplant facility is struggling with extremely slow pace of progress and already missed the deadline of starting services by April 2015, the proposed Bone Bank, which would be a boon for bone cancer, trauma and other orthopaedic patients by saving lives and limbs, has also been stuck in red tapism.
The Bone Bank, which can get started with as meagre sum as `3 lakh to `4 lakh for basic equipment, has been hanging fire since the last around a year. Despite requests and follow-up by the hospital, the project has not moved an inch.
The Health and Family Welfare Department had in May last year decided to go ahead with the Bone Bank project, which would have been the first in Eastern India and fifth in the country. The hospital authorities had even decided to set it up in the Biochemistry department.
According to sources, the project proposal with all details had been submitted to the Department since last year. A clearance was also sought from the Law Department on the question whether it should be covered under the Organ Transplant Act or not, even though bone transplant is not governed by the law in other parts.
But the project has been hanging fire since with the Health Department losing interest after change of guard late in 2014. The new dispensation appears not to be favourably disposed towards the facility that will not only render invaluable service to the patients suffering from bone cancer, severe trauma, infections and failed replacement surgery, but also save many people from amputations and losing vital limbs.
At SCBMCH only, more than 300 trauma cases, 60 cancer patients and 58 infection cases need bone graft in a year and they can hugely benefit from bone grafting or transplant. There are around two to three such amputations at the SCBMCH every day while the number could be significantly higher if all the hospitals in the Twin City are taken into consideration.
The expense on a full-fledged Bone Bank is not more than `25 lakh to `30 lakh with equipments like- deep freezer, pulse lavage system, ultrasonic agitator and lylophilastion apparatus.
“But it can be started with only around `3 lakh worth of basic equipment. Sadly, the Department is not showing keenness to the project”, sources rued.