| One of the machines at the ART centre in PMCH on Monday. (Gautam Dey)
Two new facilities were inaugurated at the Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in Dhanbad on Monday.
An anti-retroviral treatment (ART) centre and a generic medicine shop were thrown open for patients at the hospitals Saraidhela campus.
An ART centre was started in PMCH way back in May 2010 by regional coordinator of National Aids Control Organization, Ranchi, but the CD IV count machine was not available. Consequently, the blood samples of patients admitted in the centre were sent to Ranchi for finding out CD IV levels, a process that takes around a week. The count determines the stage of HIV or AIDS in a patient.
Inaugurating the fully equipped ART centre on Monday, senior professor and head of the dermatology department P.K. Senger said though NACO has provided a CD4 machine worth Rs 12 lakh for the centre more than six months ago, a crucial part of the machine called vertex was not available and had only recently been procured by the institute.
Superintendent of the hospital Arun Kumar and principal of PMCH Arun Kumar Chauhary were also present on the occasion.
The ART centre is the fourth in the state after Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Hazaribagh and the 270th in the country.
The CD4 count facility will help doctors to start treatment immediately instead of waiting for at least a week like earlier, said Senger, adding that the facility will also help cancer patients.
Meanwhile, a generic medicine shop Jan Aushdhalaya was also inaugurated at the institute on Monday. Superintendent of the hospital Arun Kumar said 70 types of medicines were at present available at the shop.
The shop will be open from 9am to 5pm daily. At present only one pharmacist has been appointed at the shop but the facility would also be extended to a 24hour one as and when the state government provides manpower, Kumar said.
He added that doctors of PMCH have been instructed to prescribe only generic medicines which are about 70 per cent cheaper than the branded medicines. We have sent a list of 350 medicine to the health department and more medicines would be available soon at the shop and as and when we receive the medicine, said Kumar.
Though the medicines will now be sold to both patients admitted in PMCH and outsiders, sale to outsiders could be restricted later if stocks are not sufficient.