KEM revamps audiology department following mid-day's report

Updated: Dec 04, 2016, 09:31 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Department gets staff and swanky new equipment four months after mid-day reported lack of doctors at the civic hospital; more plans in the pipeline

KEM audiology department

KEM Hospital recently inaugurated its revamped audiology department that now boasts state-of-the art equipment. This comes four months after mid-day had reported that there were no doctors in the audiology department of the city’s biggest-run civic hospital (No docs to hear out patients at civic hospital), forcing poor patients to approach private clinics where these tests are expensive. The alternative is to wait for weeks or sometimes months for the test at another civic-run hospital. While the tests are free at civic-run hospitals, private labs charge between `500 and `1,000 per audiology test.

A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by a doctor had revealed that out of the eight posts for audiologists in all the four major civic hospitals – KEM, Sion, Cooper and Nair – only three posts had been filled. BMC is now planning to revamp the audiology departments of the other three hospitals as well.

“Our audiology department used to conduct around 15 examinations every day. The new department has new audio examination equipment and more staff and will be able to handle more cases,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital.

Audiometry is required in several cases — when patients complain of decreased hearing, in order to procure a medical fitness certificate and for children with learning disabilities. This examination also plays an important role in medico-legal cases, where expert opinion is required to prove a point.

Dr Sunita Rao, a doctor working with handicapped children, said, “Most children referred to KEM Hospital are sent to Sion and Nair hospitals. At Nair Hospital, owing to the pressure, the waiting list extends to almost two months. This examination is essential for children with hearing problems as depending on the audiometry analysis, the doctor provides the treatment. Other civic hospitals, too, should redevelop their audiology departments to stop harassment of patients,” she said.

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