A costly medical equipment worth over Rs 3 crore and bought more than two years back has been gathering dust at the Cancer Care Centre of Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute (GCRI) at Siddhpur town in Patan district due to lack of qualified technical expert to operate the equipment.
The equipment, PET/CT scan, was bought by the GCRI for its centre in Siddhpur. This scanner is an advanced medical equipment for therapeutic monitoring of common cancers. In Ahmedabad, there are only three such equipments. The test on the equipment costs in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000.
The use of the machine involves use of nuclear medicine in high security environment and only a specialist – Radiation Oncologist – licenced by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, can operate the same. Sources said that boxes of PET/CT Scan might have lapsed their warranty period even without being used for once. Though, hospital administrator at GCRI, Narendrasinh Chavda, said that the warranty period of the equipment starts only after the equipment becomes operational. However, some doctors at GCRI, preferring anonymity, said that the warranty period starts from the date of purchase itself.
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Siddhpur MLA Balwantsinh Rajput said that crores of rupees invested in the equipment are going to waste for inability of the GCRI to recruit competent staff for such a long time.
When contacted, GCRI director Dr Rakesh Vyas pleaded helplessness in doing anything concrete in this matter. “We are running the centre with available resources and operating the equipment for which technical experts are available. We have been advertising regularly for recruitment of Radiation Oncologist at national level,” he said. The decision to purchase the PET/CT Scan machine was taken by the then director Dr Pankaj Shah.