Patients flood MRI section of SKIMS

Shafaq Khan

Srinagar: With authorities yet to replace flood-hit infrastructure in city hospitals, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) section of SKIMS Soura is finding it difficult to cater to the huge rush of patients visiting the tertiary care hospital every day.
Most of the infrastructure including the MRI machines and other diagnostic equipment at SMHS was destroyed by the September 2014 floods and continues to remain defunct. The equipment at most of private clinics in the city also got destroyed in the ravaging floods.
Thus most of the patients requiring an MRI are referred to the SKIMS. “We are attending 40-45 patients a day. Before floods we would only perform 20 MRIs per day” says Bilal Ahmed Dar, MRI technologist at SKIMS.
“Our duty starts at 8 am and most of the days, ends at 1 am in the night,” Bilal adds.
Unable to handle the huge patient influx, the SKIMS authorities are now conducting tests on the basis of severity of an ailment.
“We are prioritizing patients on the basis of their severity of the ailment. If somebody has a brain tumor he is given the first priority and so on,” says Director SKIMS Dr. Showkat Zargar.
The situation is unlikely to improve as it will take SMHS and other city hospitals further time to re-install the equipment and machinery.
“The machine is coming; it will take one or two months. We are deciding the place where we can install it as the ground floor was completely destroyed in the flood,” said Principal GMC, Dr Rafiq Ahmad Pampori .
SMHS Hospital was among the worst-hit health care institutions of the valley as two of its storeys remained submerged for many weeks due to devastating floods last September . The hospital is since operating without basic facilities like MRI, echo machine, etc.