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SAHIWAL: Only one of the two ultrasound machines at the District Headquarters Teaching Hospital, Sahiwal, is functional despite the presence of two radiologists in the hospital.

The hospital had one ultrasound machine since 1990 and it got the second after its upgrade as a teaching hospital when the Sahiwal Medical College was established in 2010. Two radiologists were appointed in the hospital. However, for the last three years, only one ultrasound machine has been operative.

According to the hospital sources, 200 to 225 patients need the ultrasound scanning but only 60 to 70 patients could avail the facility due to the sole ultrasound machine.

“I came from Arifwala for an ultrasound scan but I have been asked to come again tomorrow. How can I come from such a distance again?,” says Razia Bibi, a patient in the hospital.

Barkat Ali from Noor Shah says that he has been standing in the queue from three hours but his number has not arrived yet. He complains about the great rush of patients.

This correspondence talked to many patients who were sitting in the corridor of the ward which had the ultrasound machine. They all complained about the long wait they had to undergo due to inoperative machine.

They demanded the authorities concerned to make the second machine functional so that they don’t have to go the private laboratories for the ultrasound scanning which charge them hefty amounts.

Dr Tariq Mahmood, senior radiologist, says about 70 patients undergo the scanning from 9am to 2pm and the rest are asked to come next day. He says the hospital charges Rs100 to Rs150 for each scan while the private laboratories in the market charge Rs500 to 700.

Medical Superintendent Sheikh Aziz accepts that the hospital has two ultrasound machines but only one is working.

“The hospital is under construction and we have no space to instal the second machine,” he explains.

Published in Dawn January 25th, 2017