C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI to acquire unique device for focussed radiation
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, has got a provisional approval from the Health Ministry for the proposed installation of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), cyber knife, creation of a dedicated burns unit and upgradation of MRI.

According to experts, Positron Emission Tomography, better known as PET scan, is a revolutionary investigation that has been introduced in India recently. Available at present in a few places in India, including Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, PET scan is a very important tool in the hands of psychiatrists, neurologists, neuro-surgeons, oncologists and cardiologists among other specialists. In general, it will detect anything in the human body which is undergoing a response that enhances the oxygen consumption either due to an infection like tuberculosis or cancer or auto immune reaction of the body.

Sources in PGI told TNS that the proposal mooted about seven months back to the Health Ministry, entails an expenditure touching Rs 90 crore. The ministry has sought a detailed proposal from the institute. A final approval will make PGI the first centre in the country to acquire a cyber knife, a device used for providing focussed radiation.

PGI Director Professor K.K. Talwar told TNS here on Thursday that he felt that it was about time that the 42-year-old institute acquired Positron Emission Tomography and cyber knife. ``These two deficiencies could not be overlooked by an institute of the stature of PGI. Initially, we thought of getting a Gamma Knife that is mainly used for neurosurgery but we were advised by experts to opt for cyber knife that costs about Rs 20 crore. It has to be imported and is installed in very few centres in the world. PET scan also costs about Rs 20 crore.''

The proposed expenditure of Rs 90 crore is besides the Rs 200 crore allocatted to the institute in the Plan Budget.

Dr S.N. Mathuriya, officiating head of the Department of Neurosurgery at PGI, told TNS that cyber knife is not yet installed anywhere in the country. He explained that the cyber knife helps in provoding focussed radiation.



Patients’ attendants ‘big help’ to ICU staff
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
It houses the PGI's most critical patients, is out of bounds for practically all outsiders and entry of infection is particularly checked. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU), one of the most sterile of places in the institute, however, is now giving infection a walkover in the entire ward if the visits by attendants to the ward are any indication to go by.

While the institute, according to laid down rules, allows attendants to visit their patients in the ICU at fixed hours in a day, the staff of PGI is increasingly depending on the attendants for tending to the patient.

"We go to our patient at least five to six times a day. The staff calls for us as and when required. Cleaning the patient, changing bed sheets, helping him sip juice are among the few things that we do inside," says Dara Singh, a resident of Dhuri village, an attendant of Gulzar Singh, an accident victim.

Anup Kumar from Solan, attendant to another accident victim, Jeet Ram, who was admitted to the ICU for over eight days, adds, "the staff inside maintains that keeping the patient clean is our responsibility. We too don't mind the odd jobs because the patient is ours. It also provides us an opportunity to see our patient and spend sometime with him."

Nirmal Kaur, a private nurse and attendant to an old lady admitted from Nayagaon who was admitted to the ICU for over 20 days, also vouched for having been in and out of the ward frequently. "It seems they don't have enough hands to be able to manage all the patients themselves.

In fact, we should not be allowed in so often since we can be very convenient carriers of infection in this ward of critical patients," she states.

While the staff, on condition of anonymity, maintains that the paucity of staff leaves no option but to seek help and attendants of the patients are their best bet. "We are all overworked and hard pressed for time.

Some or the other patient is always in need of attention. In such a situation, help doesn't harm," a staff member explains. Traditionally, attendants waiting outside the ICU are primarily there to fetch medicines or provide anything the patient may need inside the ward.

The PGI authorities, in a reply to the query on allowing attendants inside the ICU to carry out chores like sponging of the patient, help out in changing bed sheets and feeding patients, said that all these jobs are executed by the nurses with the help of other staff.

The reply by the authorities also held that doctors, nurses and technicians collectively look after the patients and while some time has been set aside for attendants to visit patients, "assistance from relations is taken whenever necessary" for the quick recovery of patients.



World Health Day observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
The World Health Day was observed today at various places in the city. At the UT Red Cross, Chandigarh, the theme 'Working Together for Health' marked the day. A free health checkup-cum-awareness camp was held in collaboration with the Health Department, UT.

The camp was organised at Government Senior Secondary School, Daddu Majra Colony. It was inaugurated by Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Health, Mr R.K. Rao, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, Red Cross, Ms Swati Sharma, SDM(E)-cum-Secretary, Red Cross, were also present on the occasion and apprised the chief guest about focus areas and purpose of the camp.

Dr Usha Bishnoi, Medical Superintendent and Dr G.Dewan, Deputy-Medical Superintendent of General Hospital, Sector 16, were also present during the camp.

Free health check-up, including facilities of ENT, eye, dental, pediatrics, general check-up and Immunisation were provided to patients. Free lab facility was also provided by the Red Cross, Chandigarh, through Dr M.L. Kataria.

The UT Red Cross displayed its various projects, activities on Cancer, HIV, AIDS, first aid and female foeticide as part of the awareness campaign.

A total of 456 patients were attended to and provided medical check-up facility and free medicines and lab testing during the camp .

The Social Care and Development Society, Sector 41 too organised a health-cum-medical camp in association with the State AIDS Control Society at Batrela village . The camp aimed at generating awareness among the people on HIV, AIDS.

Speaking on the occasion, president of the society Mohinder Benipal stressed on the preventive measures to safeguard against deadly diseases like AIDS.

About 60 patients were examined by Dr Nirmal Bhasin and free medicines were distributed among them. Also present were project managers Gurdev Singh, Lakhvir Kaur, Narinder Kaur and Ashish Rampal.

At PGI, a seminar was organised on the occasion by the Department of Community Medicine.

Addressing the audience, Mr Bidhi Chand and Dr S Bharti shared their viewpoints and field experiences. A debate was also organised in which students from the Nursing Institute on Health and related issues.

The Society for Social Health, too organised a programme at Saheli Aangan, a centre for adolescent girls at Palsora Colony. A rally was organised on the occasion which was flagged off by Ms Shayama Negi, senior Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh. At Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School, Sector 38, a seminar was held which was presided over by D.R. Bali, Dr Satya and Ms Rupinder from the school of Public Health, PGIMER.

The doctors urged students to adapt a healthy lifestyle and participate in various sports activities. School principal, Ms Harpreet Kaur also announced the formation of Sports and Recreation Club for Parents, the membership of which was open to parents of school students free of cost.



Pulse polio drive from April 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
The Director Health Services, UT, Chandigarh, Dr Inderjeet Kaur Walia today announced the launch of pulse polio immunisation campaign on April 9. Addressing a press gathering, Dr Walia said the Health Department  was fully geared  for the complete eradication  of polio from the city in spite of the fact that no case of polio had been detected in Chandigarh for the past three years.

She disclosed that as many as 442 booths and 19 mobile teams manned by 2,000 volunteers had been set up.

She added that because of the migratory population it had become necessary to cover each and every part of Chandigarh. The Mayor and councillors of the Municipal Corporation, NGOs, panches, sarpanches and religious leaders had also been requested to mobilise.



UT to review expenditure of all depts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to review the plan and non--plan expenditure of all its departments on quarterly basis for the effective and efficient utilisation of resources and funds available with it.

An official memorandum has been issued by the Finance Secretary to all departmental heads to carry out proper-expenditure management and budgetary control from the first quarter of the current financial year. They have also been asked to submit report on their monthly expenditure.

The Budget estimates for the current financial year have already been intimated to all departments. Similarly the scheme-wise break up of plan budget outlay for the year has also been circulated to them.

The departments have been told to make all out efforts to keep a close watch on timely completion of projects to avoid cost and time overruns. They will have to give priority to complete Last Mile Schemes, Projects before taking up new schemes or projects.

In order to maintain the pace of all developmental activities, each department has been asked to furnish the administrative approvals of the works to be executed in their department for this financial year to the Engineering Department by May 15, 2006.

The Engineering Department will issue necessary technical sanctions and finalise the process of tendering by June, 30, 2006.

After finalising the tender formalities, the works will be allocated for execution by July 15, 2006, by the Engineering Department.

The Engineering Department will not entertain the administrative approvals from any department for execution of work during the financial year after May 15, 2006.



Naunihal Singh SSP of SAS Nagar district

Chandigarh, April 7
Mr Naunihal Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police at Khanna, has been posted as Senior Superintendent of Police of the newly created SAS Nagar district.

Mr Naunihal Singh is an IPS officer of the 1997 batch and is known for taking innovative steps for community policing. TNS


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