Bhopal: The Pulmonary medicine center is running without a pulmonologist in the city, despite demands raised from several quarters. The centre run by the gas relief department near Jahangirabad, sends the patients elsewhere for the examination in the absence of pulmonologist.

This is a condition when patients whose numbers vary from between 50 and 100, need this examination daily for which the Rasool Ahmad Sidduqui pulmonary center management sends patients for pulmonary examination to Kamla Nehru hospital or Bhopal memorial hospital or any other hospital.

According to sources, over 500 patients reach Rasool Ahmad Siddiqui pulmonary hospital for treatment out of which there are over 100 gas-affected patients who need this examination. However, the gas relief department has failed to ensure a pulmonolgist there while the machine which was once purchased for the purpose is also lying unused.

This is the condition even after three years of the mandatory guideline for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients as per which every such hospital ensuring treatment to gas affected patients, needs pulmonary expert.

The guidelines were issued by Dr VK Vijayan, which were then recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), three years back. Dr Vijayan, when contacted, said that the post of a pulmonologist is mandatory for every hospital offering treatment to COPD patients for which he had chaired a committee and these guidelines were issues around 2015.

Shekhar Verma, commissioner of the gas relief department, when contacted expressed concern over the issue and said that he will soon appoint a pulmonologist in the center for which he has sent the proposal to the department. We have formed a proposal for recruitment of 16 doctors in the department soon for which the proposal has been forwarded to the concerned departments, he added.

Rachna Dhingara, activist associated with Bhopal group for information and action, said the pulmonary medicine center was envisioned as a state of the art centre. “Today, it is a worse than a dispensary,” she said. As per Dhanigara, there has never been a pulmonologist in the hospital and the equipments costing over crores have been biting dust which is one of the glaring examples of negligence of much needed medical care for the Bhopal gas funds and waste of public money.