THOOTHUKUDI/MADURAI: Kovilpatti Government Hospital distributed X-ray results on papers instead of films as they are short on funds. Hospital authorities informed that the films were expensive.
However, the public claimed that they were given the radiography results on papers for the past one month. Marimuthu of Kovilpatti, said he consulted a doctor for chronic pain in his right hand.
The doctors following the X-ray, returned the results on paper instead of film. He added that he could not get an alternate opinion for his ailments as the results were on paper.
X-ray results on films cost Rs 50 at government hospitals, while the ones on papers do not cost extra.
Thoothkudi Medical College Hospital Dean Dr Nehru said, "Issuing X-ray results on papers are equal to receiving it on films. It is common nowadays."
The Medical Superintendent of the concerned government hospital Dr Kamalavasan said the films were unavailable for the past few weeks due to issues on tendering X-ray sheets.
"Since we had few X-ray films, we decided to give the films for necessary cases such as Medico-Legal Cases (MLC)," he added.
In the meantime, radiologists were asked to share the digital X-ray results with the concerned doctors via Whatsapp for diagnosis and the patients were given the results on paper, he said.
A radiologist at a government hospital in Madurai, said X-ray films that are used at government hospitals across Tamil Nadu cost Rs 50 each.
The resolution of X-ray images on paper instead of the film is of low quality, he stressed.
The recommended alternative to film is glossy paper but those costs Rs 80 which is higher, stated the radiologist.
Meanwhile, an orthopaedician at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) said diagnosis will not be precise on paper.
"Conditions such as hairline fractures, miniscule lesions and bone infections would go unnoticed and treatment in such cases will only be based on assumption," he added.
However, private hospitals doctors opined that viewing the X-rays on digital format is a scientific advancement and is much more helpful. "The cost spent on X-rays can be used for other medical services," they added.
A senior ortho specialist from a private hospital wishing to remain anonymous said the radiologists at the private hospital would share the digital format of X-rays to doctors.
When a patient asks for the results for future reference, they are copied on CDs, he added.
"The digital format is easy to share online to get multiple opinions between departments in minutes," he said.
As X-ray films are corrupted in five years, it is better to use digital formats for diagnosis, he added.