Relocated MRI unit at SMHS gives tough time to patients

Relocated MRI unit at SMHS gives tough time to patients
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By Nazima Sidiq
Bijbehara: The SMHS Hospital has resumed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan facility which had been damaged in the 2014 floods, but attendants complain that moving a patient to the relocated MRI unit was no mean a task.
The facility, which was earlier housed in the main building of the hospital, has been shifted across the road to a block in Shirin Bagh, where it is housed in the first floor of a building.
For the patients admitted in the hospital, especially the disabled, attending the facility is both tiresome and stressful.
In most cases, the attendants have to move the patient on a stretcher through the crowded corridors of the hospital, its busy entrance, and a busier road outside. Then, in the absence of a lift, they have to often lift the patient along with the stretcher, with all their might, up the stairs.
Furqaan Ahmad is attending to his brother admitted in Ward 18 of the hospital.
“He (brother) had repeated seizures and was asked to go for an MRI of the brain. He was hardly able to sit. First, we had to shift him on a trolley from the hospital ward all the way to the building where the MRI is located, and then we had to lift him up along with the trolley to the floor where the machine has been set up. It was really tiring both for the patient as well as us,” said Ahmad.
Outside the MRI unit, Furqaan said, all the patients were “equally frustrated” because of the hassle they had to put in to reach the facility.
“The facility should have been in the hospital premises as it is difficult and probably dangerous too for critical patients to reach the unit amid intense cold,” he said.
Patients and their attendants also complain that while the tests are done in the new building, the associated formalities are done in the main hospital premises.
“If they have shifted the MRI machine to the Shireen Bagh Block, then all the procedure should also be done in the same block. Once the doctor prescribes the scan, first we have to go to old blood bank to receive form, then we have to go Shireen Bagh for appointment date, then we have to deposit fee in the main block. The authorities don’t care about our suffering,” A visibly angry patient Shabir Ahmad said.
Patients waiting outside the MRI unit also complained that with only one machine available they have to wait for months for their turn, or pay heavy sums at private diagnostic centers.
“In government hospital, an MRI test is done at Rs 2500, while as in private clinics same test costs Rs 5000 which is too expensive for me.  I am dependent upon the given date,” said Zonah, a patient.
Dr. Kaiser Ahmad, Principal of Government Medical Collage Srinagar told Kashmir Reader said that it was not possible for the hospital to bring the facility back to main block.
“MRI is not that important which can be used in an emergency case. Patient can easily go anywhere for MRI. There is no time barrier for such test. If patient have to move to another block, our attendants are always available for shifting the patients to other block for MRI,” Dr Kaiser said.