ANDHRA PRADESH

Lack of equipment costs accident victim his life

IRREPARABLE LOSS: Yellamma, mother of the deceased, mounts an anxious vigil at the casualty ward of the hospital on Saurday.  

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Non-availability of CT scan and Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) equipment at Gandhi Hospital claimed the life of a 24-year-old man on Saturday.

Prabhu Das, a native of Medak district, suffered a head injury when a speeding lorry hit the cycle on which he was going, at his village in the morning. He was taken to Medak Government Hospital where the doctors referred him to Gandhi Hospital. He was brought here in an ambulance at around 3 p.m.

Ambulance not available

Duty doctor N. Shanker asked family members to get a CT scan and MRI done outside as the equipment was not available at the hospital. Family members then rushed him to a private diagnostic centre and got the tests done. "They got late at Gandhi Hospital itself as ambulance was not available. They had to take him in a private ambulance," Dr. Shanker told mediapersons.

Prabhu Das died while being brought back to Gandhi Hospital. "If we had CT Scan and MRI equipment here, we could have saved his life," Dr. Shanker said. The agitated doctors staged a protest against non-availability of the equipment near the casualty ward in the evening.

"We could not save the life of the poor patient because of lack of equipment. Every month, we get nearly 700 patients with head injuries," said another doctor, Yugandhar. He said though the amount to purchase the equipment had already been sanctioned, for some reasons, it had not been purchased.

Dr. Yugandhar said CT scan test costs about Rs. 2,000 in a private hospital. "How can poor patients spend so much money? Government hospitals in all States, except in Andhra Pradesh, have this equipment, " he said.

Mother in the dark

While CT scan equipment costs between Rs. 2.5 crores and Rs. 3 crores, the MRI equipment costs around Rs. 6 crores. "There are several patients who die because of non-availability of these equipments. Such cases go unnoticed," he said.

"I do not know about the fate of my son," said Yellamma, mother of Prabhu Das, waiting near the casualty ward. Till evening, she was not told that her only son was no more.