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X-ray machines defunct in Andhra Pradesh hospital, doctors use phones

Posted September 12th, 2017, 12:11 PM IST

X-ray machines defunct in Andhra Pradesh hospital, doctors use phones

TIRUPATI: Patients are having to bear the brunt of the negligence of the administrators of the Ruia Hospital in Tirupati. While the X-ray machine in the casualty section is completely defunct, machines in other parts of the hospital do not have X-ray films. Doctors are taking pictures of the images displayed on the X-ray machines’ screens on their mobile phones and using those pictures to make a diagnosis. In the absence of x-ray reports, patients find it difficult to seek second opinions. There are three X-ray machines at the Ruia Hospital. The one located in the casualty section has not been working for the past three months, despite X-ray being an essential emergency service.

Patients requiring X-rays are asked to go to either the main building or the outpatient block. However, even there they are denied X-ray reports due to the lack of X-ray films. Instead, surgeons take pictures of the screens of the X-ray machines. K. Suma Latha, the relative of a patient, said, “They are not providing us with X-ray reports. If we ask for them, the staff members shout at us. What should we do if we need to refer to them in the future? At Ruia, everything is done for money. No one is addressing our problems.”

P. Hema, the relative of another patient, said, “They asked me to take my husband to the main building for an X-ray. No one helped us and there were no stretchers available. How can I take him to a building which is 200 metres away, all by myself? They should know that this is an emergency. The X-ray machine was not working even when I here came a couple of months ago.”

When contacted by this paper, Sidda Naik, the superintendent of Ruia Hospital, said, “We have prepared proposals for the purchase of three new machines. It is known that the machine in the emergency section has not been working for three months. It will be repaired within a day or two. We are giving the X-ray reports through fax and on CDs. We are also providing X-ray films.” A doctor at the hospital, on condition of anonymity, said, “Diagnosis is being done through pictures taken on mobile phones. For cases in the casualty section, we request the house surgeons to take pictures, on their mobile phones, at one of the machines that are working. The machine in the casualty section has not been working for over three months.”