Mumbai: After the death of a 32-year-old in the MRI mishap, the BYL Nair Hospital has shut down its MRI unit, forcing patients to travel to other government-run diagnostic centres; else, they will have to cough up double the cost at private outfits. In fact, on Monday, when the MRI facility was examined at all hospitals, it was observed that the waiting period is not less than seven months.
If any poor patient urgently requires an MRI test this week, the person will have to wait till August, at least. By which time the patient’s problem is likely to aggravate and the condition can worsen. The other option is to scramble and raise Rs 4000 for an ordinary MRI test and Rs 7000 plus for a detailed one.According to a senior doctor, most patients at Nair were referred to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion and KEM Hospital in Parel for MRI scans. These hospitals, in turn, asked them to visit government facilities in Govandi and Borivli, said patients.
“Only those who are currently admitted can get MRI scans done; the rest will get an appointment in August. If you do not want to take an appointment, please visit Shatabdi Hospital, Govandi or Bhagwati,” said doctors in charge of the diagnostic centre at KEM Hospital. Patients who had come for MRI scan said they were given dates in August for an MRI scan on OPD basis. “When I asked if it was possible to prepone it, they referred us to Bhagwati and Shatabdi Hospitals.
So, in all probability, I would get the scan done at a private laboratory, as we cannot wait for that long,” said Sunita Rao, a neurology patient who visited KEM hospital on Monday in the OPD. Every day, the hospital receives around 40 patients for MRI scan. On Monday, they received an additional seven patients from Nair hospital. Some of the patients who need the scanning on an urgent basis were also referred to Sion hospital.
Out of the sixteen civic-run peripheral hospitals, only two – the Shatabdi hospital at Kandivali and Govandi — have an MRI facility. Almost 40 per cent of the patients treated at the four major hospitals are referred by these peripheral hospitals.
Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of KEM Hospital and director, medical education, BMC, said, “We conduct 15-20 MRI scans daily and the appointments are taken six months in advance. But this will be the case only for four to five days, after which the Nair hospital facility will be back in service.” None of the patients visited Shatabdi or Bhagwati hospitals for MRI facilities. “Our technicians got a lot of calls, but we did not get patients from Nair,” said Dr Rajashree Jadhav, medical superintendent of Shatabdi Hospital, Govandi.