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Neuro services badly hit in GMCH, EEG & EMG machines lying non-functional

Govind Sharma
JAMMU, Feb 12: Two important diagnostic equipments— 16 Channel Electro-encephalograph (EEG) machine and EMG Machine, which play significant role in diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems, are lying non-functional for a long time in Diagnostic Block of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Jammu.
According to the sources, while an EEG test assists in diagnosis of common headaches, dizziness, seizure disorders, strokes, degenerative brain disease and also to determine organic causes of psychiatric symptoms and disabilities in children, an EMG test is used to help evaluate or diagnose muscle diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), nerve compression in the neck, back or extremities, Peripheral polyneuropathies, disorders of neuromuscular transmission and Cervical as well as lumbar radiculopathies.
“But it is ironical that the EEG Machine is lying non-functional for over last one year and the EMG Machine is in non-working condition for about last six months in Diagnostic Block of GMCH Jammu, and despite many correspondences with the hospital authorities, not a single step was taken for getting repaired these important diagnostic equipments, thereby leaving the patients to suffer and move to private diagnostic centres.
Moreover, sources said, the EEG machine is of obsolete model (Model- EEG 16 and Type-Manual) and even if it is repaired its results are not as reliable and trustworthy, as compared to outcome of digital machines, which are more prevalent now. However, they said, the machine cannot be repaired as engineers have already raised their hands citing that machine’s spare parts are not available in the market.
“Though there are two latest 64 Channel EEG Digital Video Machine (worth 50 lakh each) at Super Speciality Hospital Jammu, but one of them is lying unused, as there is only one technician available, which can operate only one machine at one time. Thus, there is no purpose of keeping the second EEG machine in SSH Jammu, but despite many requests to Principal, GMCH Jammu, neither the machine has been shifted from SSH to GMCH nor a new one purchased”, sources said.
Besides this, the sources said, EMG machine is also in non-working condition since June 2016 but no one from the hospital authorities took interest in getting it repaired. “Though there is a minor fault in the machine which any trained computer engineer can rectify, the concerned authorities are sleeping over the issue turning a blind eye to the sufferings of the patients”, they added.
When contacted, acting HoD, Neurology Department, Dr BR Kundal admitted that both EMG and EEG machines in Medical College are in non-working condition for a long time. He said that they had called engineers to repair these machines but as both the machines are about 25-30 years old and their spare parts are not available in the market, the engineers expressed their inability to repair the same.
However, he said that both these machines are available in Super Speciality Hospital (SSH), Jammu and they are conducting tests on them regularly except Monday and Wednesday, as there is only one technician available with them, which conducts the same tests on Monday and Wednesday in Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital, Jammu.
When asked why they do not shift one of the two EEG machines from SSH to GMCH, Dr Kundal said that the two EEG machines belonged to Neurology Department and they cannot shift any of these machines to Diagnostic Block of GMCH, where the diagnostic equipments are under Medicine department.
Dr Kundal, however, said that the purchasing committee of GMCH has placed order for purchasing a new EMG and EEG machine for Diagnostic Block of Medical College to J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL).
Principal of GMCH Jammu, Dr Zahid Gillani, also confirmed that an order has been placed by the purchasing committee with JKMSCL to purchase the two diagnostic equipments. “However till the new equipments are purchased, I have asked HoD Neurology to shift one of the EEG machines from SSH to GMCH in the interest of patient care”, Dr Gillani said, adding, he will ensure that the machine is shifted in Medical College without any further delay.

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