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Snags shut down SSKM cath labs

The fate of about 200 cardiac patients admitted to SSKM Hospital hung in the balance as the authorities shut down cath lab facilities on Thursday, after “a major fault”.

SSKM officials could not confirm when the only cath lab in a state government hospital would be repaired. Director of the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research A.K. Maity said the manufacturer of the cath labs has refused to start repair work as the hospital owes the company close to Rs 40 lakh.

“We have two cath labs in SSKM Hospital which are old and in very poor condition. The equipment broke down for want of proper maintenance. Repair work will be taken up if the health department provides the funds,’’ added Maity.

SSKM surgeon superintendent D.D. Chattopadhyay met senior health department officials at Writers’ Buildings on Thursday. “If we do not get the necessary funds, there is little possibility of repair work being taken up and the cath labs being opened,’’ he admitted.

According to SSKM officials, one cath lab is about 19 years old and the other eight. On Thursday, both developed snags and had to be shut down.

The cath lab is critical to cardiac care, as angiography and angioplasty are performed here and pacemakers installed, explained cardiologists.

“I was supposed to perform angiography and angioplasty on 15 patients on Friday. But with the cath labs not functioning, I have told the patients that they can shift to a private medical unit,’’ said cardiologist Ashok Kar.

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