Trauma centre patients forced to seek MRI, CT scan services elsewhere

  • Doctors say sending critical patients out of the hospital could result in complications
- Arjun Poudel, Kathmandu

Mar 22, 2019-

Maya Singh Kami, a local of Dhawang village in Rolpa district, fell off a tree a week ago. He was admitted to the Kathmandu-based National Trauma Center in an unconscious state three days after the incident. But doctors told Kami’s relative that he needed to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, a service that the trauma center does not offer.

An ambulance was hired and Kami was taken to the Metro Radiology and Imaging Pvt Ltd in Naxal for the test.

The test results showed that the 63 year old’s vertebrate and spine ligaments were badly damaged. He had also suffered from hemothorax (collection of blood between the chest wall and lungs) and multiple broken ribs. Kami was half paralysed.

Kami is among many patients who are brought to the trauma center with serious injuries, only to be sent to private facilities for an MRI and CT scan.

“If the patients who are half paralysed are sent out of hospital, serious complications may arise,” Dr Dipendra Pandey of the trauma center told the Post. “Such patients may suffer permanent paralysis, even die in some cases.”

The trauma center does not have MRI service, while the CT-scan machine is out of order for the past several months.

Kami’s son Bir Bahadur complained that the private MRI facility charged him Rs 14,000 for the service. If the MRI service was available at the trauma center, the test would have cost only Rs 7,000, the same rate charged by Bir Hospital next door.

Although the trauma center sends most of its patients to Bir Hospital for MRI tests and CT scans, those in critical conditions are referred to private facilities to save time.

Patients have to wait for at least two weeks for MRI and CT scan services at Bir Hospital.

Officials of the National Academy of Medical Sciences that operates the trauma center said that the academy did not have the budget to repair the dysfunctional CT scan machine. “The company, which supplied the CT scan machine, told us that it would cost $50,000 to repair the machine. We do not have that kind of money,” said NAMS Rector Dr Subodh Adhikari.

He said the CT scan machine of Bir Hospital had also stopped working and it would require $150,000 to repair it.

Published: 22-03-2019 10:44

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment