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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Root of dental crisis

The lone X-ray machine at Patna Dental College and Hospital is defunct for three months with the authorities at a loss about the problem with the facility.

Dr N.P. Yadav, the in-charge principal of the hospital, said he has written several letters to health department officials. He also met the officials last month when he was promised of a fast solution for the machine, worth around Rs 3 lakh. Nothing has been done so far, though.

I met the director-in-chief of the health department, Surendra Prasad, around a month ago and told him about the problem with the X-ray machine. We do not have a technician as well. He assured me to solve the problem soon but nothing has been done so far, Dr Yadav said. Prasad was not available for comment.

Sources said the technician was sacked around three months ago because he did not report for duty for 15 days without prior information.

The sufferers in the deadlock are the patients, mostly coming from economically backward families. With the X-ray machine defunct and no technician in sight, they end up shelling out more money to get X-rays done at private diagnostic centres.

Earlier, patients could get their X-rays done for Rs 20. Now, they have to pay at least Rs 60 for the test at private centres.

Doctors at the dental institution prescribe X-rays for most cases because without one, they find it difficult to identify a problem. In cases like root canal treatment, more than one X-ray are often required, said a doctor.

Vyasji, principal secretary, health, said: The technician at the Patna Dental College and Hospital was suspended because of some reasons. The X-ray machine has developed a snag that will be sorted out soon. We have called a technician who will join next week. The X-ray facility will also be functional.