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Health Department fails to release funds for non-operating diagnostic machines

KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has failed to release funds for the yearly maintenance and repair of the CT scan and MRI machines which have been lying out of order in Karachi’s hospitals for the past several years due to the negligence of the Health Department and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).

The major diagnostic machines of major hospitals of Karachi including the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital (CHK) Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital Orangi, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) have been lying out-of-order for long now.

The heads and medical superintendents of these health facilities have been unable to get the MRI and CT scan machines repaired due to the shortage of funds and rise in maintenance and repairing charges with the passage of time.

The patients at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi are facing hardships as the CT scan and MRI machines have been lying out of order for almost two years. The CHK is Sindh’s largest teaching hospital, where a large number of patients are brought in every day from different areas of Karachi and the Sindh province.

Similarly, visiting patients are facing grave inconvenience at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) as two major diagnostic machines have not been functioning for the past several months in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation-run hospital.

The CT scan machines are also not operating in the Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital Karachi, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital Orangi Town, and Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad. The sole MRI machine of the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) has also been non-functional for one and half year. Children are being shifted to private diagnostic labs for testing, the prices of which are beyond the reach of the poor.

Presently, the CT scan and MRI machines only are working in the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), which is run by a non-governmental organization, the Patients’ Aid Foundation (PAF). The CT scan machine is operating in the Sindh Government Hospital Korangi and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (SMBB) Institute of Trauma.

Media Coordinator to the Health Minister Sindh, Mehar Khursheed, was not available to make any comments.

March 16, 2021

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