Ranchi: Patients arriving at the state’s largest medical college and hospital, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims), are being turned away due to the hospital’s defunct medical equipment. They are forced to pay exorbitant rates for ultrasonography, MRI and CT scans at private testing labs. The hospital management cited delay in the completion of official procedures.
On Sunday, Lalita Devi had arrived at Rims with her pregnant daughter-in-law from the outskirts of the city. She was forced to shell out thousands of rupees for the daughter-in-law’s diagnosis at a private lab and hence, she wasn’t left with enough money to return home. “I brought her here as I thought that she will be attended by good doctors and all her tests will be done for free. But even an ultrasound machine is not functional. I had to take her to a private clinic for the tests prescribed by the doctor,” she said.
West Singhbhum resident Sudhua Pingua had suffered a ligament injury last week and was referred to the orthopaedics department at Rims. However, he couldn’t get the MRI scan done as the machine has been lying defunct for months.
“When I reached the radiology department, I was asked to go to a private clinic. I didn’t know that the test would cost a high price. I am planning to return home today,” a disappointed Pingua, who works as a labourer in a mining site, said.
The problems have increased manifold for the patients as Health Map diagnostic, which used to conduct tests at Central Government Health Services (CGHS) rates and for free for the patients belonging to below poverty line (BPL), too, has stopped its services as their dues have run into crores.
“We have stopped providing free services to patients since November last year as the Rims management owes us over Rs 3 crore. We continue to perform these test on CGHS rates,” said a Health Map Diagnostic employee.
A senior faculty of Rims said, “The situation has worsened since the government took over. It is shameful for the state’s largest hospital to not clear dues of a diagnostic centre, which has been providing free services.”
Several attempts to contact medical superintendent Dr Hirendra Birua failed as he didn’t answer calls made by the TOI.

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