Rawalpindi    -  The sole Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine in Holy Family Hospital (HFH) has been dysfunctional for last one month while the management is taking least interest to repair the newly installed machine, informed sources on Friday.

Hundreds of poor patients are being denied diagnostic test facility at HFH due to faulty machine, sources added.

The fault is reportedly of minor nature i.e. changing the pump, but the management of the city’s largest hospital is seemingly in deep slumber and taking no serious step to repair the machine, they said.

Due to non-availability of the service in newly built MRI centre, the management is forcing the patients to visit private laboratories for MRI scans at their own expense, they said.

An official told The Nation that the management has purchased the American made MRI machine from a company recently but it got dysfunctional soon after installation by the engineers. 

“HFH is the only public sector hospital in Rawalpindi Region which is providing indoor treatment to cancer patients,” he said adding that as the hospital housed only one MRI machine, it was providing the scan facility to most of the cancer patients followed by those visiting with backbone problems.

But the service is being denied to patients coming from different parts of region including Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir, he said.

He added the doctors of Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Raja Bazaar are also referring patients for MRI in HFH but all the patients have to visit private laboratories, the official added. He revealed the price of MRI scan in HFH is Rs4,000 to Rs4,500 but the owners of private laboratories are charging Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 for MRI scan that is a huge burden on pockets of needy and poor patients.

He said 25 to 30 MRI scans used to be performed daily in HFH adding that the most disturbing situation was that the machine was dysfunctional due to non-supply of a pump.

“Scores of complaints have been made with Medical Superintendent of HFH by the patients and their attendants but no action was taken so far,” shared another doctor working in MRI Centre of HFH. He said a mafia is working in the hospital which is not allowing the management to repair MRI machine just to fill their own pockets with giving kick backs to some black sheep in HFH. 

Talking to The Nation, scores of patients and their attendants also expressed their deep concerns over negligence on part of hospital management. “I am a labourer and earn Rs 800 per day while my mother is suffering from backbone problem. I brought her here for MRI scan and was told the facility is not available due to faulty machine,” said Ahmed Khan. He said a doctor advised him to visit private laboratory to conduct MRI scan of his mother. “I don’t have Rs15,000 for MRI scan,” he said while demanding Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar to take action against management of HFH for not repairing MRI machine.

MS HFH Dr Shehzad, however, when contacted to know his point of view, admitted that MRI machine is dysfunctional and the management has asked the company to repair it. “Since the machine is new and under warranty, the company has imported pump from abroad. 

The spare part has reached Karachi,” he said. He said the MRI machine will be made functional in two or three days.