Patients suffer as dialysis centre in dire need of machines, staff
December 1, 2019
Several patients at the government-run MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Odisha’s Berhampur were turned away on Saturday as the dialysis machine developed a snag.The dialysis centre of the major referral hospital in south Odisha suffers from lack of adequate number of machines and staff. Established in 1976, it was one of first dialysis centres in the State. The centre has only two machines, of which one was brought from Koraput district. This old machine takes longer per dialysis and develops snags often.On May 25, dialysis of only two patients could be done as the new machine also stopped functioning. This centre also caters to patients of emergency cases like poisoning, snake bite, dengue and severe malaria. Inadequate staff is another major problem this centre faces. For the past eight years, it was being managed by a retired professor of the nephrology department of of the MKCG Medical College as an ad hoc appointee. It was only a few days ago that the centre got a permanent professor. Although two machines need at least two technicians, only one is posted here.Single shift onlyA senior resident and a post-graduate student from the college’s medicine department are deputed every fortnight to assist. There is an urgent need of more Class III and Class IV staff, including nurses and attendants, at the centre, which is now unable to run round-the-clock. At present it is operational on a single shift.Since the start of the ‘Sahay’ scheme that provides for free dialysis, the number of serious kidney patients has been on the rise. The College and Hospital Dean and Principal Radha Madhab Tripathy says measures are being taken to improve the situation. He hopes that the situation will become better after the opening of the new super speciality building on the campus. This block has been constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakshya Yojana at a cost of ₹150 crore. According to Dr. Tripathy, the new block’s dialysis centre will have at least six machines and adequate staff.