Srinagar: If you are to fix your teeth and you need an Orthopantomogram (OPG) that costs only Rs 50 in Government Dental College and Hospital GDC,Srinagar get it done at a private clinic at a whopping cost between Rs 900-1100. Reason being, GDC is yet to fix the machine destroyed three years back in floods 2014.
An OPG is a panoramic or wide view X-Ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays, dentists take of individual teeth.
“We receive more than dozen cases of OPG X-Rays in a single day. Imagine how important this equipment is to us. Leave aside having more than one machine for better patient care we are not able to keep one,” revealed a senior doctor at GDC wishing anonymity.
The doctor also revealed that in many cases they feel helpless as treatment of a patient depends on OPG. “In emergency cases were OPG is the first thing we need. Patients suffer a double trauma,” the doctor said.
The doctor said that last week they were left speechless when a patient who had met an accident was shifted to GDC from Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital in the dead of the night and he needed an OPG.
“His family asked ‘were is the lab in hospital’? They had to wait whole night till they got it done from a private clinic in the afternoon,” doctor lamented.
When this reporter inquired at the billing counter how much does the OPG X-Ray cost. ‘Rs 50’, came the reply.
Officials at the GDC claim that they are not authorized to do purchases from GDC chest and it is Jammu And Kashmir Medical supplies corporation (JKMSC) which procures drugs, medicines and medical equipment’s.
“We have sent requisition four times from 2014 for OPG x-ray machine but nothing has been done by JKMSC,” Dr. Abdul Lateef Assistant Medical Superintendent GDC.
He however added that the response to their recent communication with the JKMSC was an assurance, that ‘tender has been given to some supplier and the OPG x-ray machine will be available within few months.”