Karachi: The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine installed one year ago, at Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), is not operational since the past seven months, due to delay in repair work, involving Helium gas inputs. Helium gas is apparently not available due to its shortage in the market. With this malfunction and long-delayed repair work, the poor patients at the hospitals are being deprived of the critical MRI facility. The low income segments visiting CHK are thus forced to get their MRI done from private institutions, which are charging between Rs. 5,000 to 20,000 for the service. This is creating major difficulties for the poor masses.
Responding to the querries, the CHK officials have stated that, this brand-new MRI machine was purchased and installed nearly one year ago, however, after a few months of operations, it malfunctioned and has been waiting for repairs since the last seven months. Under the warranty contract, the MRI can only be repaired by one specific supplier, however the supplier of this machine has failed to provide the required Helium Gas for refilling.
The Officials and Medical Superintendent (MS) of CHK – Prof Dr M Saeed Quraishi have stated that; the CHK administration has been in constant contact with the supplier for early repairing of MRI machine as per agreement. It is said that; there is no major fault in the machine. It simply needs some Helium gas. But due to the shortage of Helium gas, the supplier has been unable to make the machine functional till date. The machine will start working as soon as the supplier arranges Helium gas for the machine.
A large number of patients visit CHK, every day, from different areas of Karachi, interior Sindh and Balochistan province for medical help and treatment. The MRI machine examines the Patients with health problems like; backbone, brain and bones ailments. The CHK is supposed to provide this facility free of cost to the patients. But currently the patients are being deprived of it.
It has been alleged by some patients and the staff unions that; some corrupt officials at CHK are collaborating with a mafia, to divert the poor patients towards private hospitals, and generate illegal income from this scam. The Government officials should take immediate action against such corrupt elements, and end this unnecessary delay in repairing the MRI machine.