Ailing infrastructure in the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, popularly known as Sion Hospital, is affecting hundreds of patients who need regular dialysis.
With four out of five dialysis machines at the Artificial Kidney Dialysis (AKD) department of the hospital out of service for the past one month, most patients are forced to opt for expensive private clinics.
It seems the hospital administration is not getting time to repair the machines; other than paper work, it has not done anything to fix them.
For 34-year-old Swati Desai, a mother of two who has been undergoing dialysis at the hospital for the past year and a half, organ transplant seems to be the only option left. With the dialysis machines out of order due to technical glitches, the hospital staff asked her to go elsewhere for treatment.
“My wife has been undergoing dialysis thrice every week for the past month and a half at private centres which costs us Rs1,200 per cycle,” Swati’s husband Shyam Desai told dna.
Dean of Sion Hospital Dr Avinash Supe said, “I am aware of the situation and have already spoken to the concerned head of the department. We have started repairing the machines. I hope the issue will be solved within 10 days.”
He assured that the hospital administration will inquire about the delay in repair and act against the guilty. “We have also floated a proposal for 10 new dialysis machines and are trying to get one more machine through charity.”
About a month ago, 15 patients were undergoing dialysis every day. But, with a single functional machine, only three patients are being served now. The department, located on first floor of casualty department in ward 35, is always swarming with patients because of the huge demand for dialysis.
Lakhs of patient are admitted to and thousands are operated at the Sion Hospital every year. Looking at the workload, more than 10 dialysis machines are required at the hospital. Since it is the only major hospital in the suburban region where all types of surgeries are performed, fixing of the dialysis machines becomes all the more urgent.
Nephrologist at Suburban Hospital Dr Jatin Kothari said that dialysis is important in situations like acute kidney injuries, reversible temporary kidney failure due to infections, post-operative states, severe loose motions and post-pregnancy states.
“Also, in cases of chronic, long-standing, irreversible kidney failure due to diabetes, hypertension or other diseases, patients need regular dialysis at least thrice a week for the rest of their lives until they have a kidney transplant,” he added.
(Patient’s name changed to protect identity)