Mumbai: No doctors to hear out patients at civic hospitals

Updated: 07 August, 2016 08:51 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty |

Only three of eight audiologist posts at four hospitals have been filled; patients forced to approach private labs

Omprakhas Yadav, 42, is still irked about being made to first run around to get a single audio test conducted for his son Aditya, 20, and then finally having to shell out from his pocket at a private clinic because KEM, the biggest civic-run hospital in the city, does not have anyone to conduct an audiology test.

A doctor from the ENT department confirmed that KEM doesn’t have audiologists to conduct the tests
A doctor from the ENT department confirmed that KEM doesn’t have audiologists to conduct the tests

A Right To Information (RTI) application filed by a doctor has revealed that out of the eight posts for audiologists in all the four major hospitals — KEM, Sion, Nair and Cooper — only three posts are filled. Because of this, patients are forced to approach private laboratories or wait for days at other BMC-run hospitals.

Omprakhas Yadav
Omprakhas Yadav

Omprakhas, a technician by profession, said, “After enquiring with them continuously, KEM finally told us that they do not conduct audiology tests. We were in a hurry, so we didn't approach Nair hospital as suggested by the hospital as it would have taken 2-3 days more. I was forced to pay R500 at a centre in Dadar.”

KEM hospital, in response to the RTI has stated that they conduct 15-20 audiograms every day. But, when mid-day spoke to a doctor from the ENT department, he said, “We don’t have audiologists to conduct the tests, so we refer patients to Nair or Sion Hospital.”

The waiting list for patients varies from 15 days to two months at Nair Hospital as stated in the RTI. “Patients are forced to spend out of their own pockets at private laboratories or centres,” said the RTI activist, who filed the application.

As both posts at the hospital are vacant, interns from Ali Yavar Jung Institute are managing the department. The RTI reply reads, “At present, the audiograms are managed by the audiology interns from AYJ Institute, but they are not allowed to do medico legal cases/MME fitness.” At Cooper Hospital, Dr Neha Chhabria, a visiting audiologist, does the examination free of cost.

Importance of audiology tests

1. To ascertain a person’s peripheral hearing status
2. To know and compare hearing status before and after a surgery
3. To determine eligibility for disability certificate
4. To get medical fitness certificate before employment
5. For evidence in medico-legal cases
6. To identify extent of hearing loss

First Published: 07 August, 2016 08:21 IST

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