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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

GMCH-32’s radiotherapy machine defunct for three months, cancer patients suffer

The machine was fixed by engineer in mid-March, but it stopped working again within 15 days and has remained non-functional ever since.

Written by Chahat Rana | Chandigarh | Published: July 2, 2020 12:17:49 pm
GMCH-32’s radiotherapy machine defunct for three months, cancer patients suffer With cancer patients being immunocompromised and more susceptible to catching COVID-19, timely treatment for them has become even more crucial since the pandemic.

The radiotherapy machine at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 (GMCH 32) has not been functional for the past three months, since the pandemic hit the city, affecting the treatment of the cancer patients who have been prescribed radiotherapy.

The machine was fixed by engineer in mid-March, but it stopped working again within 15 days and has remained non-functional ever since.

A man from Hisar, whose brother was due to receive radiotherapy at the hospital for his throat cancer, says that he got his brother treated at a private hospital since they could no longer wait for the radiotherapy machine to be fixed.

“The machine has remained broken for the past two months or more, but my brother could not wait any longer, so we shelled out a lot of money and even borrowed from family to get him treated at a private hospital,” says the Hisar resident, who is currently works in Chandigarh. He adds that at least 50 to 60 patients are waiting for the machine to get fixed so that they can receive radiotherapy in time.

In March, some patients also registered a complaint regarding the lack of a functional radiotherapy machine at the hospital to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) public grievances portal online. The portal forwarded the complaint to GMCH 32, seeking a reply for the reason behind the prolonged delay in fixing the machine.

With cancer patients being immunocompromised and more susceptible to catching COVID-19, timely treatment for them has become even more crucial since the pandemic.

Spokesperson for the hospital, Anil Moudgil states that the hospital promptly gave a reply to the PMO, explaining that the delay was on part of the engineer who was commissioned to fix the machine. After doing a makeshift job of fixing the machine, which led to it becoming dysfunctional within 15 days again, the engineer refused to come to fix the machine since he resides in a red zone in Delhi.

“The machine was bought under an Annual Maintenance Contract, so the company’s engineer has to come and fix it either way. It is part of the contract, so it should be fixed soon,” says the spokesperson. “An engineer is coming from Patna by road and has promised to fix it this week,” said Director Principal, Dr BS Chavan.

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