CUTTACK: Acute manpower shortage in Radio Diagnosis department of SCB Medical College and Hospital, here has crippled investigations and diagnosis in the premier hospital of the State. Long queues of patients and attendants holding doctor prescriptions waiting for their turn outside the department has become a common sight. Such is the crisis that even critical patients have to wait for three to four days for radiology tests including ultrasound and CT Scan.
Lack of seriousness on the part of the authorities concerned is evident from the fact that despite the rush, the department which has the facility of X-Ray, ultrasound and CT scan functions for only seven hours in a day - from 9 am to 5 pm with skeletal staff. Adding to the troubles of the patients is the one hour break for lunch from 1 pm to 2 pm.
At present, 16 staff including 12 regular Radiographers and four contractual Radiographers besides 12 Class IV employees are managing five X-ray machines in Radiology unit and two X-ray machines in Casualty and Orthopaedic departments. This is in contrast to the need for at least 30 radiographers and 20 Class IV employees to run the unit in three shifts for 24 hours to meet the rush, said sources.In the absence of technicians, two radiologists from the X-ray unit are operating mammography machine while the post of Dark Room Assistant is vacant since long.
An ultra-modern digital X-ray machine procured by hospital authority six months back is yet to be made functional despite increase in number of patients, the sources said.Earlier, 100 to 150 X-rays were done in a day when user fee was in force. Now, it is too difficult to accomplish 200 X-rays including 70 digital and 130 manuals, said a Radiographer.Similarly, five staff including a Professor, an Associate Professor and three Assistant Professors are managing the ultrasound unit with the help of 17 PG and 9 SR doctors.
The team conducts a maximum of 180 ultrasounds, 120 cases from the queue and rest from emergency and Sishu Bhawan, per day against the minimum requirement of 400 to 500 cases in the same time limit.
The same ultrasound team is also operating two CT scan machines including one for whole body and another for brain and at least 12 staff are required to provide 24 hour scanning facility.
Prof Jayshree Mohanty, in-charge of Regional Diagnostic Centre, said all the radiological tests, diagnosis and investigations are being done for 24 hours even as the hospital authority has recently given a proposal to the State Government to run the pathological, radio-diagnostics and biological tests, investigations and evaluations for 24 hours on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.
■ 16 staff, including 12 regular Radiographers and four contractual in the department
■ They are managing five X-ray machines in Radiology unit and two X-ray machines in Casualty and Orthopaedic departments
■ At least 30 radiographers and 20 Class IV employees needed to run the unit in three shifts for 24 hours
■ Modern digital X-ray machine yet to be made functional