RAWALPINDI: An expensive part of the ultrasound machine in the emergency department of the Holy Family Hospital has gone missing and the hospital administration is trying to find out if any staff member stole it while patients howl.

Since the Transducer Probe missing since Monday could be of no interest to non-professionals, some HFH doctors suspect it was an inside job. The hand-held probe, that is moved on patient’s body to receive sound waves and echoes, costs Rs150,000 in the market.

HFH Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Arshad Ali Sabir confirming the theft to Dawn said an inquiry was being launched.

Meanwhile, the ultrasound machine in use of the Dengue Ward of the hospital was shifted to the emergency department on Wednesday to calm down the angry patients.

For the past two days, the patients reporting to the department and needing the ultrasound test were being referred to other hospitals or private laboratories.

“It is a government hospital and it is the duty of the government to ensure that medical equipment and machinery are functioning,” patient Khurram Malik was heard saying before the replacement arrived. “Such breakdowns are routine in the HFH,” he alleged.

Another patient, Abdur Rehman, informed that he had come to the hospital for treatment of kidney pain but the doctors needed an ultrasound report first. “I had to go to a private laboratory for that,” he said.

A senior HFH doctor told Dawn that kidney patients and expectant mothers particularly faced this problem.

Although the hospital management was immediately informed about the theft of the probe, it took time to report the incident to police as it wanted to conduct an internal inquiry first.

CCTV cameras installed in the HFH monitor the goings on in its wards and corridors but not the examination rooms, the doctor noted. MS Dr Sabir, however, expects the director of the emergency department to submit the report of the inquiry ‘soon’.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2015

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