No MRI ser­vices at JDWNRH as lone ma­chine gets de­funct

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Phub Dem from Thim­phu

Pa­tients want­ing to avail Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imag­ing (MRI) ser­vices from the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Na­tional Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal (JDWNRH) will have to wait till Jan­uary next year so that the lone and the old MRI ma­chine at the hos­pi­tal gets up­graded.

It has been a month since the hos­pi­tal stopped pro­vid­ing MRI ser­vices. The lone MRI ma­chine is not only old, but does not func­tion well with oc­ca­sional break­downs too.

The Med­i­cal Su­per­in­ten­dent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pema said the hos­pi­tal stopped the MRI ser­vices be­cause the ma­chine needs to be up­graded.

“The ma­chine has been used for 13 years; sur­pass­ing the 10 years mark of func­tion limit is­sued by the man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany,” he added.

Dr Gosar Pema said al­ter­na­tive meth­ods are used to di­ag­nose the pa­tients such as CT scan in emer­gency cases and that pa­tients who are se­vere and need MRI ser­vices at the ear­li­est are sent to Silig­uri in In­dia with the hos­pi­tal (JDWNRH) bear­ing the charges for MRI and travel ex­penses of the pa­tients as well.

The Head of Biomed­i­cal De­part­ment, Ms.Prapha said the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of the MRI ser­vices was also due to low he­lium level lead­ing to power fluc­tu­a­tions.

“The dis­con­tin­u­a­tion is for the well­be­ing and safety of the pa­tients. The ma­chine is worn out and we felt the need to up­grade it. The hos­pi­tal is in the process of send­ing the MRI ma­chine for main­te­nance and by De­cem­ber it is ex­pected to func­tion as usual,” she said, adding that they are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the coun­ter­parts in In­dia to try to solve the prob­lem as soon as pos­si­ble.

She fur­ther said it is not nec­es­sary for MRI ma­chine to di­ag­no­sis sim­ple dis­eases un­less the case is ex­treme and that ma­chines such as CT scan, ul­tra­sound and X-ray can suf­fice the method of di­ag­no­sis and in­ves­ti­ga­tion of dis­eases.

Dr. Gosar Pema said the gov­ern­ment has specif­i­cally al­lo­cated cer­tain bud­get for the main­te­nance of the ma­chine.

“As there is not a sin­gle main­te­nance ex­pert to fix the prob­lem in the coun­try, there­fore, JDWNRH has to rely on ex­per­tise from other coun­tries. This is why it is tak­ing time,” he added.

On the other hand, the reg­is­tered list of pa­tients want­ing to avail MRI ser­vices has been in­creas­ing.

A di­a­betic pa­tient, who doesn’t want to be named, said it has been a week since he reg­is­tered for MRI checkup.

“I am ea­gerly wait­ing for the ma­chine to be fixed,” he said.

An­other pa­tient, Nam­gay said, “Though the MRI checkup is closed, the hos­pi­tal still reg­is­ter our names. This is a pos­i­tive sign for steady up gra­da­tion.”

How­ever, the JDWNRH man­age­ment as­sures that the MRI ma­chine and ser­vices will be avail­able by Jan­uary 2019.

Mean­while, MRI scan­ning uses mag­netism, ra­dio waves, and a com­puter to pro­duce im­ages of body struc­tures. It’s an ex­tremely ac­cu­rate method of dis­ease de­tec­tion through­out the body and is most of­ten used af­ter the other test­ing fails to pro­vide suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to con­firm a pa­tient’s di­ag­no­sis.

The MRI scan is also help­ful to di­ag­nose other ab­nor­mal­i­ties such as trauma to the brain in the head, brain aneurysms, stroke, tu­mors of the brain, as well as tu­mors or in­flam­ma­tion of the spine, be­sides get­ting valu­able in­for­ma­tion on glands and or­gans within the ab­domen, and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion about the struc­ture of the joints, soft tis­sues, and bones of the body. It is said that surgery can be of­ten de­ferred or more ac­cu­rately di­rected af­ter know­ing the re­sults of an MRI scan.

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