Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet

Shimla, Aug 8

Himachal Pradesh Government and IGMC administration did not provide the space for the dream project of BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda as a multicrore centrally sponsored high loaded (HIV) virus testing plant has been gathering dust in a school campus here for the last one year, an official of firm installing the health equipment lamented.
This project was sponsored during the tenure of JP Nadda as Union Health Minister to the IGMC hospital. He said that Nadda backed this project for Himachal along with 16 other ART centre labs in the country. These 65 such plants cost hundreds of crores to the Union government before the covid outbreak. The sources in the state Government told us that the IGMC administration provided a narrow triangular room to set up this plant which was too small to accommodate or set up plant forcing the state AIDS control society to keep the same and many other plants/equipment in a Government senior Secondary school Sanjauli for almost a year.
Investigation revealed that the dream project of Nadda seems to be in a scuttle, depriving many patients of the benefit of taking Antiretroviursal treatment and testing of their virus load as the plant could not become fully functional. The firm also took up the matter with the chief secretary and health secretary several times; hereafter, now IGMC administration has displayed some interest in creating some additional space in the Microbiology lab where the machines could be installed soon to facilitate patients.
This plant is meant for patients who come for regular check-ups of their virus load to control AIDS in the state.
A number of such highly advanced and art of the science medical equipment are reportedly gathering dust in the government institutions as there is a lack of space or do not have qualified operating staff to run them.
Similarly, a microbiology lab plant owned by Shimla Municipal Corporation provided by the international agency is also biting the dust. It has been unfunctional for the last eight years due to a lack of employees and staff. State Government got many Oxygen plants or Ventilators from international agencies during the peak times of the COVID outbreak; however, they never claimed such equipment. Neither most of it was fully commissioned and is perhaps still confined to the warehouses to be outdated soon. On the other hand, people have to spend their hard-earned money in private labs to get health facilities in the state and outside.
An employee of the health department said on the condition of anonymity that the biomedical tests and testing of virus load are of utmost importance for clinical diagnosis, and failure to install it reveals the state of health facilities in the state. The sources in the government and health department said that the politics and role of private lab cartels are responsible for snail paced upgradation of health facilities in the state. The state’s role is slowly declining in public health, which should be a priority sector of the state.
The recent contracting of more than a dozen of doctors in the IGMC by the covid -19 indicates the state of health management, as the Covid pandemic is at its peak with an increasing positivity rate up to 16 per cent or more.


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