The Maharashtra government will consider procurement of more Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for its hospitals through the public private partnership model, state minister Ranjit Patil said.
There is a dearth of MRI machines in hospitals, considering the population quantum of the city, the Minister of State for Home (urban) noted while speaking on the issue in the state Legislative Council.
He was responding to a query raised by Hemant Takle (of the NCP) over the incident in January at the city-based Nair Hospitals MRI room, where a man died after allegedly getting sucked into the MRI machine and inhaled the liquid oxygen that leaked out of a cylinder he was carrying.
Raising the issue during the Question hour, Takle said the MRI machines are essential in medical facilities. However, there is no proper training of ward boys and aayas (women caretakers), leading to such incidents.
Citing the Nair Hospitals incident, the NCP member said the medical facility has 300 beds, about 13 departments and a sanctioned strength of 247 ward boys and 103 aayas.
“Of these, 167 posts are empty. In such cases where the staff is not sufficient, the available staff members, who do not have knowledge about the MRI machines, have to be roped-in,” he said.
The insufficient number of MRI machines also leads to a waiting list of patients – from 15 days to three months, he said.
Takle demanded that the government increase the number of MRI machines in government hospitals and undertake an extensive training of ward boys to avoid accidents.
Responding to him, minister Ranjit Patil said that in the case of the man’s death in the MRI room of Nair Hospital, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh has already been provided to the deceased’s family.
“Considering the population flow in Mumbai, the number of MRI machines has to be increased,” Patil said, adding that all four government hospitals in the city have such machines.
“The government will consider procuring MRI machines through a public private partnership model to fill in the gap,” he said.
The waiting period depends on the grade of these machines and higher the grade, the lesser the waiting period, Patil said.
He said the architectural designs and pictorial warnings are in place on the MRI machines which make it clear that no metallic item should be brought near it.
“However, since there are people who do not pay heed to the warnings, it is essential that ward boys, other staff members and doctors are trained enough, so that accidents do not occur,” Patil said.