By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jun 11: The only State operated hospital of Manipur, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science (JNIMS) currently has only 4 functional operation theatres, as most of the other operation theatres have either closed or shut down due to lack of modern facilities and equipment.
As a result, the hospital which had around 30 operation per day on an average has seen a steady decline in the number of operations, sometimes almost half of the initial number.
This has also resulted in fewer OPD patients being admitted for surgeries and most of the patients are now flocking to private hospitals even if they charge more.
Even though it has been around 10 days since the number of functional operation theatres at JNIMS has been just 4 there has been no word of repair of the defunct operation theatres.
Many of the disgruntled patients and families who come for surgeries and operations at the hospital have even asked if JNIMS has no authority to look after it.
Speaking to The Sangai Express, an official source pointed out that JNIMS initially had 6 operation theatres.
7 new operation theatres were added recently out of which two were modular operation theatres with centralised ACs.
The new operation theatres were constructed with the State PWD as the implementing agency. The implementing agency and JNIMS have not yet finished the procedure of handing and taking order.
However, the source claimed that two (out of the seven) operation theatres were commissioned as the authority needed to show the inspection team of Medical Council of India (MCI), which had come as preparation for opening Ortho and ENT PG courses in JNIMS, that the courses had their dedicated operation theatres.
An operation theatre for Neuro Department was also commissioned for performing neurosurgeries, the source added.
But in an interesting twist, the source informed that many of the seven newly constructed operation theatres had faulty gas pipelines, faulty ACs, unfinished roof lights, cracked flooring etc.
The source claimed that recently a patient nearly died when carbon dioxide, instead of oxygen, was administered due to faulty gas pipeline.
Looking at all these issues, JNIMS Director chaired a meeting on June 2 at Medical Superintendent board room.
Following the meeting, JNIMS Medical Superintendent Professor L Ranbir issued a circular on the same day informing that all surgeries/operations of the hospital have been indefinitely put on hold immediately.
However, after a few days, operations were performed for those patients who had already been admitted to JNIMS, although no admissions were taken further for surgeries of OPD patients.
The source mentioned that the initial operation theatres of JNIMS had faulty machines and old tables and as such are fairly outdated.
But looking after the interest of the patients, around 8/9 operations theatres remained functional till recently, the source conveyed and added that the number has slipped down to only four currently as all the other operations theatres have become defunct.
The source informed that out of the said still functional operation theatres, one had been arranged in a rush by the Principal Secretary, Health while another was made functional by salvaging different parts and machine from other operation theatres.
The defunct operation theatres were abandoned/de-commissioned as doctors have to eliminate any risk while trying to save a patient’s life. But till date, there has been no word of repair or construction work on the defunct operation theatres, the source added. Apart from lack of proper machinery, the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care is also lacking manpower. Five posts of Senior Resident, the back bone of an operation theatre, are empty till date but there are now news regarding filling up the posts.
The source conveyed that out of three vacant posts of Assistant Professor, two have been advertised.
Five Senior Resident sanctioned posts are also still vacant for Surgery Department, it added.
On the other hand, another source explained that the hospital is operated by JNIMS Society.
The Society’s Chief Executive Officer and Member Secretary posts were held by JNIMS Director. But, after a Government nominee became the Chief Executive Officer, issues concerning funds and admission process of JNIMS are handled by an officer beyond the hospital’s reach.
This has led to considerable lag when it comes to any development issues for JNIMS thus resulting in lack of facilities in the hospital.
On the other hand, JNIMS Director Professor Bhimo explained that the defunct operation theatres were closed for the safety of the patients
He admitted that only four operation theatres of JNIMS are functional but assured that steps are being taken up to repair the other defunct ones at the earliest.
Replying to a query on whether 57 types of tests are being performed freely at JNIMS (as a part of Free Service Initiative of the Central Government), the Director claimed that most of the tests are performed freely at JNIMS although some are not due to lack of funds required for buying the needed acid and reagents.
It may be mentioned that on July 1 last year, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, under the Free Service Initiative, launched the initiative of performing 57 types of free tests at JNIMS, which included X-Ray, ECG, USG, blood sugar tests and blood urea tests etc.
However, talking to The Sangai Express, many patient parties claimed that most of the said 57 free tests remain in name sake only.
According to them, if the test is a major one or a complicated one, the hospital authorities usually deny such tests even though the patient has already bought the ticket.
As such many patients usually have to shell out extra money and get their test done at private laboratories, they claimed.
The patients party also raised doubts regarding the presence of some kind of conspiracy between technicians, doctors and the private laboratories and expressed suspicion on whether the patients are being deliberate told about technical failures/lack of equipment regarding the free tests by the hospital authorities.
By Our Staff Reporter