Special Correspondent

Hospital blames the supplier

KOZHIKODE: Medical College authorities on Monday held the company that supplied the Colour Doppler Ultrasound Machine to its Institute of Maternity and Child Health (IMCH) responsible for disabling the machine. They also alleged that a company representative had made the machine non-functional as its cost had not been paid.

However, the authorities at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital said that scanning of patients had not been affected. Patients who had been booked for scanning at IMCH were being scanned at the super-speciality hospital, medical college Principal Dr. Sudheendra Ghosh and Superintendent-in-Charge at IMCH Dr T.P. Ashraf said on Monday. The ultra sound scanning machine at IMCH has not been working since February 28.

JDS Medison India (P) Ltd., New Delhi, which supplied the machine, had informed the IMCH superintendent that Rs.14,85,000, the cost of the machine, had not been made in spite of repeated reminders.

In a letter dated February 28 the company had threatened to initiate legal action if full payment for the equipment is not made within seven days. “You have failed to make the payment. Your action is nothing but breach of contract,” the vice-president (sales) of the company alleged.

Hospital authorities said on Monday that an engineer of the company, who had entered the scanning room ostensibly to do some maintenance work, had rendered it non-functional.

Delay in payment

The hospital development committee had stopped payment for the machine as a report on the quality of the machine is awaited. The report, by a committee appointed by the Director of Medical Education following a controversy over the purchase of the machine, is expected by March 15.

The hospital development committee, at its meeting on March 1, decided to file a police complaint about the unlawful entry of employee of the company into the scanning room at IMCD allegedly to disable the scanner.

The Medical College Principal and IMCH superintendent said until the dispute with JDS Medison India (P) Ltd was settled, the ultrasound machines at gynaecology and paediatric surgery wards would be used.