STNM Hospital Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: In a major relief to patients, especially those have been affected by COVID-19 in state, the CT Scan machine at STNM Hospital, which was lying defunct for over a month, has started functioning.

It is also said that the STNM Hospital is all set to welcome a new set of CT scan machines for the devoted COVID Hospital adjacent to the tuberculosis ward being set up in the hospital premises.

On August 22, EastMojo carried a news item where it was reported that people in the state are struggling a lot due to the absence of CT scan facilities in the hospital.

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Speaking with EastMojo, KN Sharma, a radiologist, stated, “The machine has now been functional for over two weeks now. Health Department brought in technicians from Calcutta and since then we are doing an average of 10-15 CT scans per day. We are also doing a CT scan for COVID patients, two-three such cases have been functional since the machine started re-functioning. But in doing so for COVID patients, we have to either keep such tests as the last one for the day as there is the fear of contamination. We do not want other patient’s diagnosis to get hampered as the entire premises has to be sanitized after one COVID patient is brought here.”

The machine which had been dis-functional since June, its annual maintenance contract had expired in February. The process for the renewal of the contract had not been carried out.

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Speaking with EastMojo, STNM Hospital’s bio-medical engineer Ravi Chauhan said, “Previously, it was in warranty for a year-long period after its installation, now the contract has been signed. Following which the servicing of the machine was carried out. Since March it was not under warranty, while the contract file was also delayed due to COVID. 2 weeks ago, the file was approved and GE got the contract directly. It is an annual renewal contract. It is an expensive machine were spare parts cost in lakhs of Rupees. Hence, it is always advisable to not mend the device on our own but to rope in experts from outside the State.”

There are three GE Engineers posted at STNM as there are almost 60% instruments and equipment from the electronic brand in the hospital. These engineers were there but for a CT scan, a special technician had to be brought from Kolkata.

“The technicians from Kolkata had visited before and they gave the report that the spare parts were costing very high. So they could not carry out the servicing without the contract. Once the contract was renewed, then within one week they came for the servicing,” stated Chauhan.

Furthermore, to devote another CT scan for COVID-19, the installation of new machine is being carried out in the under-construction COVID Hospital below the Annexure Building in the Hospital premises. The COVID Hospital will have Digital X-ray as well.

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