CUTTACK: The crippled health care services at SCB Medical College and Hospital here make a mockery of the state government’s claim to provide affordable medical services to all.
Patients coming to the hospital for diagnostic tests in the premier health institution of the state have to wait for months to get a test done. Shortage of equipment and staff has forced patients to seek refuge with private diagnostic centres.
The electroencephalogram (EEG) test unit in Neurology department is one such example. There is only one EEG machine on which patients of various departments of the entire hospital depend upon. Even patients from Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) are referred here for the test.
With only one machine in place and temporary staff managing the affairs, patients have to wait for more than a month for an appointment. A maximum 10 to 12 EEG tests are conducted in a day from 10 am to 3 pm and the facility remains closed on government holidays.
The EEG technician Laxmidhar Sahu, who manages the facility now, retired five years back and no steps have been taken to post a permanent technician. Even critical patients are allegedly made to wait for more than a month for EEG test, which plays a vital role in diagnosing brain disorders.
A patient Mita Rani Majhi (18) of Marsaghai’s Ramachandrapur locality in Kendrapara district had gone for a check-up done at the hospital outdoor on August 28 for chronic headache which she had been suffering for the last few years. Mita and her elder brother Sangram went for the EEG test as per the doctor’s recommendation but were given a serial number for December 7.
“I had no choice but to get EEG test of my sister done at a private diagnostic centre by paying `1200 as we could not wait for so long,” said Sangram. Meanwhile, SCBMCH Administrative Officer Kalpataru Behera said steps are being taken for the appointment of permanent technician and procurement of extra EEG machine.