With the echocardiogram machine at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 not functioning for the last one month, patients are forced to visit private clinics to get basic tests conducted.Further, the hospital has no cardiologist.
An echocardiogram, also called ‘ECHO’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart that gives accurate pictures of the heart muscles, chambers and valves. It is conducted to check how well the heart is functioning after a heart attack, or to look at how well the valves are moving, or detect any fluid that may have collected around the heart.
According to a staff member at GMCH-32, “The echocardiogram machine is in good condition. But no ECHO test has been conducted here as there is no cardiologist in the hospital.” When questioned who looks after heart patients and where they go for tests, the staff member said, “Doctors from the department of Internal Medicine treat these patients. For the ECHO test, patients are sent to a laboratory in Sector 28.”
However, Dr Atul Sachdev, director of GMCH-32, said the machine was defunct and needed repair. “The machine is not in a good condition and there is some problem in the resolution. Further, we do not have any cardiologist in the hospital,” he said.
When asked whether the hospital will recruit a cardiologist soon, the director said, “We will recruit a cardiologist when the Cath lab is functional. That will take at least six more months.”
With the hospital administration expected to take some more time to get the machine to be functional, the patients will have to get tests conducted at private clinics.
Vicky Saini, an attendant for a patient said, “My father is undergoing treatment here. We were taken in a hospital ambulance to a private laboratory in Sector 28 for the ECHO test. It cost us about Rs 1,200.”
Another attendant said, “I have been asked to take the patient to a Sector 28 laboratory for the ECHO test as they do not have doctors here. It would be convenient for patients if they start tests here.”