Lab run by Matrix takes off without formal opening

Lab run by Matrix takes off without formal opening

Lab run by Matrix takes off without formal opening

Matrix Imaging Solutions India Private Limited, which has been embroiled in a row over bagging the tender for setting up a laboratory at the Pradhan Mantri Swast­h­y­a Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) Hospital in the city, has star­ted operations even without a formal inauguration.

The firm had been linked to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s younger son Yathindra who served as its director. When this reporter visited the hospital on Tuesday, the laboratory staff said they had begun operations on Monday after performing rituals. Patients said they were referred by doctors to the laboratory for tests and technicians said they were carrying out X-ray and CT scanning.

However, when contacted, Dr P G Girish, Special Officer, PMSSY, said they had merely performed rituals and it would take some more time for the lab to be functional. “The owner of the firm wanted to have pooja yesterday as it was an auspicious day. Ministers are busy  and are hence, unable to inaugurate it. It should be done in May first week,” he said.

A senior doctor in PMSSY said the lab had remained locked for over four years even when necessary equipment and staff could be arranged.

“There is a genuine shortage of manpower when it comes to radiology. However, there is no issue related to human resource in other sections such as microbiology, pathology and biochemistry. It could have been started years ago by recruiting staff. The testing kits and equipment for these would not have cost them much,” he said. The senior doctor was among those who have been associated with the hospital since several years. He said that even earlier, a tender was floated and two private players had qualified. However, with the heads of the various departments opposing the move, the financial bid was not opened.

“There was a similar tender in 2012. The preconditions were strict and two players – Clumax and Metropolis had qualified. However, the financial bid was not opened as there was opposition from the HoDs who did not want private intervention in the hospital. The then medical education minister, S A Ramdas, who was also sceptical about it, did not want the bid opened,” said the doctor.

Ever since, the hospital has been trying to make arrangements of its own and when it was not successful, a similar proposal was mooted again. “The same doctors who were against it then have stood for it now,” he said.

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