One of the city’s busiest civic-run hospital’s CT scan machine was shut down for 10 days after rats gnawed its cable. It was the second time in a matter of a month when authorities at Lokmanya Tilak hospital, also known as Sion hospital, had to turn away patients because the machine was out of order.
Between 70 and 80 patients from the city and its outskirts make their way to Sion hospital for the tests daily, and with the machine busted, patients were forced to pay large sums at private hospitals for the test.
Earlier this month, the CT scan machine, which was bought at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore two years ago, was inoperable for 10 days because of a technical problem, according to hospital authorities.
Mangesh Satamkar, a former corporator from the area, said, “As the CT scan machine is installed on the ground floor, it’s adjoining the mortuary, which is infested with rats. The fibre optics of the CT scan machine attracts the rats”.
He also alleged that even the breaking down of the machine on the previous occasion was because of rats biting the wires.
Dr Anuradha Pednekar, a member of BMC’s Health Committee, while criticising the administration, said, “First the BMC should solve the rodent problem at their hospitals, rather than concentrating on killing rats from the streets.”
The CT scan machine was repaired on Thursday.
The other side
Dr Suleman Merchant, dean of the hospital, said, “Yes, rodents damaged the cable, but this was an isolated incident. Earlier, the cause was not rodents.” He added that rodents are a huge problem at the hospital, and that they are taking steps to eliminate the nuisance.