The tertiary care hospitals are the last hope for the people, and when they, too, send the patients away, it leaves them shattered and the same raises questions over the functioning and the management of these so-called big healthcare institutions. When these hospitals delay the rectification of the key machinery, the same also points to the possible nexus between the hospital and private sector labs because aimed at making money out of people who are in need. Everyone is aware of the long-standing agreement between pharmaceutical firms, doctors, and labs to make money, so it should come as no surprise if the hospital administration becomes the part of nexus with the private labs for diagnostic procedures like mammography.
We already have seen one such case from GMC, Anantnag, which despite catering to the huge needs of people from south Kashmir didn’t have an MRI machine until recently and there was a norm that the doctors would ask the patients to go for an MRI despite knowing that hospital didn’t have one. There was a clear nexus there between the doctors and the private labs, which was even proven when the hospital had to issue a circular to direct the doctor to only ask the patients to get their MRIs done from SKIMS, Soura.
The Government has a lot it wants to accomplish in terms of providing health care services, but so far it hasn’t been able to guarantee that the hospitals’ essential equipment is operational around-the-clock. And even if some machines do break down, there needs to be a mechanism in place to guarantee that the problem is fixed in the shortest amount of time—a few days, at most. In tertiary care facilities, machines like mammograms should not be left inoperable because they are crucial in the event of potential breast cancer cases and their non-operation should not be taken lightly. Additionally, while the government aims to lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs, it must make sure that the facilities intended for the general public remain in good working order to prevent a sharp increase in general spending. For the time being, the authorities must take notice of the SMHS mammogram’s malfunction and have it fixed right away.