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Garo Hills largest hospital in total decay

Patients forced to seek medical treatment outside due to non-functioning equipment

TURA: Hundreds of patients each week are being compelled to seek surgical and medical treatment outside the Garo Hills region for the past couple of months because the oldest government hospital in Garo Hills-Tura Civil hospital, which was meant to be the backbone of medical care for the several lakh citizens of the western part of the state is unable to provide the much needed service.

The reason is because three major sophisticated equipment that is urgently required for diagnosis and treatment of disease has broken down and no repairs or replacement have been initiated by the hospital authorities.

One of the most important surgical equipments of modern day use across the medical fraternity, the Laparoscopy device, a surgical diagnostic procedure used to examine the organs inside the abdomen and provide low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions, has been lying damaged  for over two months at the Tura Civil Hospital.

“Since the camera of the Laparoscopy machine has been damaged and unable to function surgeons are having to conduct open surgery which is something we normally shouldn’t be doing had the laparoscopic machine been working. We are also compelled to turn away many patients because of this problem,” inform medical sources while speaking to The Shillong Times.

On any given day, a minimum of four laparoscopic surgeries are conducted in the hospital but in the light of the machine’s damage patients are having to go to private hospitals including Goalpara town in neighbouring Assam for surgery.

“surgeries for gall bladder removal, gall stone removal, appendicitis and gynaecological operations like removal of the uterus are no longer able to be done in this hospital because of the non-functioning laparoscopic machine,” revealed medics.

Another specialised diagnostic machine, the Endoscopy machine, meant to view and operate on the internal organs and vessels of the body has remained damaged and unrepaired for two long years.

“The endoscopy machine is already old and outdated and should have been replaced two years ago. Because of the non-availability of this machine we cannot conduct any diagnosis for stomach ulcers or even remove a small sample of tissue for biopsy purposes,” inform doctors.

Even the basic requirement of any medical centre- an X-ray is in need of replacement.

The sophisticated digital X-ray which was meant to provide pictures through cutting edge technology has not been functioning for the past three years due to want of repairs, and doctors and technicians are being forced to return to the ‘antique’  old method of manual x-ray using the wet film.

“The manual pictures are not at all clear and many a times it has to be retaken again which is not a healthy option also,” medics reveal.

The problems do not end there for the 200 bedded Tura Civil Hospital where even the Intensive Care Unit continues to be manned by only three doctors against the minimum required strength of six professionals.

The ICU does not even have the Arterial Blood Gas analysis equipment meant to monitor the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood of those in critical condition.

The hospital still runs on a single ultrasound machine even though there are two trained doctors for its use. There is no CT Scan machine established in the hospital and the last one that was transported, many years ago, was never installed thereby reducing it to total damage.

The hospital is also facing another problem of manpower with some doctors not attending to their duties for months altogether. Medics allege that a lady doctor with cardiology training and medicine specialist who happens to be the head of the department has failed to attend to their medical duties for the last two years periodically popping up to collect their monthly dues.

“We are having our hands full with the rising number of patients every month but there is no support from those who do not attend to their duties,” allege the hospital staff.



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