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Practical class eludes medics

Lack of training on vital machines for postgraduate (PG) students of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH)’s radiology department has put a poser on the extent of their practical expertise in treating patients.

Sources said the radiology department does not possess the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scan machines, forcing the PG students to complete their course without necessary training, which is a part of their curriculum.

“Our course mentions that we have to train on MRI and PET scan machines but the department doesn’t possess those. There is no hope of the machines being bought. Our final exams are scheduled for April and the department still have not acquired those,” said Dr Shams Tabrez Alam, a junior doctor and a final-year postgraduate student of radiology in PMCH.

Alam said when he was in the first year, the department didn’t even have CT scan machine. “The CT scan facility started at the hospital on public-private partnership mode from 2012, when I was in my second year. So we lost out on that training. The X-ray machine, which helps in fluoroscopy (capturing the moving image of the body’s internal structure) and urography (test to help detect functioning of kidney and bladder among others), has been defunct for past several months. Our two other X-ray machines cannot conduct fluoroscopy or urography. PMCH gets around 10-12 patients daily for intravenous urography,” added Alam.

When contacted, departmental head G.N. Singh said he shot off many letters to the health department for the machines. “Yesterday, I had a meeting with health department officials in which I have been told that tenders would soon be floated for the same. We send students to nearby clinics of our colleagues to train them on MRI and other machines,” said Singh.

Another PG student said: “It would take a lot of time to complete the formalities and acquire the machines.”

A senior teacher said: “The radiology department was started in the college around 1936-37. PMCH was the first medical college in the state to start radiology wing. Now, the department paints a picture of utter neglect of healthcare.”