Tie up with private hospitals where government facilities lacked CT scanners : Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel

Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani told the House that Covid-19 patients need CT scan to ascertain the level of infection

Due to a lack of computed tomography (CT) scanners in government hospitals, the state government tied up with private hospitals and clinics, which own these machines and have radiologists to operate them, Deputy Chief Minister and state Health Minister Nitin Patel told the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

“CT scanners and the MRI machine are important for diagnosing diseases. At present, we are giving these machines to the medical colleges of the state and the civil hospitals. In many places, these are already in use. In places where these machines are not there, we have made arrangements with private clinics and hospitals having CT scanners and MRI machines to test referred patients from government hospitals, free of cost. The cost incurred is given to the private hospitals by the government,” the health minister said. He was replying to a question posed by Congress MLA Chirag Kalariya.
Patel said there was no provision to install CT scanner and MRI machines at Community Health Centres due to lack of radiologists.

Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani told the House that Covid-19 patients need CT scan to ascertain the level of infection. “As per the details provided during the Question Hour today, there are only 16 CT scanners and five MRI machines in 33 districts of the state. In 20 districts of the state, there are no CT scanners in government hospitals and in 28 districts the machines are not working and so the poor have to approach private clinics and pay Rs 2,000-4,000. This fight (against Covid-19) is long and, so, has the government planned to provide CT scan machines in all the districts?” Dhanani asked.

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Acknowledging what Dhanani was saying as true, Patel stated: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has come to our notice that a lot of people were doing CT scans along with the tests for the disease. CT scans were needed to ascertain the intensity of the infection. We have limited number of machines as each of them cost around Rs 25-30 crore. We also have limited number of radiologists to operate these machines, and so our health department has tied up with private players.”

Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar also pointed out that only one MRI machine was bought by the government in the last two years.

“Radiologists are needed to operate the machine. We need people to read the reports, diagnose the disease and treat the patient. Only keeping a machine will not solve the problem. It is not like clicking a photograph and handing it over,” Patel added. The minister said the equipment were being purchased in a phased manner.

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