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Medical equipment worth Rs 1015.74 crore found to be dysfunctional

New Delhi: A massive exercise undertaken by the union health ministry to map the inventory of all bio-medical equipment in government hospitals across the country has revealed that equipment in the range of 13% to 34% was found to be dysfunctional. The cost of dysfunctional equipment is Rs 1015.74 crore.

The mapping, which was successfully completed in 29 states, identified a total of 7,56,750 equipment in 29,115 health facilities. The total cost of all the identified equipment is approximately Rs 4,564 crore, according to a statement.

Taking serious note of the observations made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on equipment in various hospitals that are either unused or there is no maintenance resulting in wastage of resources, Health Minister J P Nadda directed the officials of the health ministry to address this and devise appropriate mechanisms to ensure that medical equipment already purchased are properly maintained beyond their guarantee period.

The health ministry prepared comprehensive guidelines along with RFP (request for proposal) on Biomedical Equipment Management and Maintenance Programme (BMMP), linked with uptime of equipment.

Under BMMP, support is being provided to state governments to outsource medical equipment maintenance comprehensively for all the equipment across all the facilities, according to the health ministry.

Eleven states and union territories — Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Puducherry — have already outsourced the maintenance.

Three states (Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh) have completed the tendering process and are in the programme implementation stage.

Five states namely Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Gujarat have released the RFP and are in the process of finalizing the tenders to award maintenance contract. Other states are yet to issue the RFP.

For 12 states where work orders have been issued, the dysfunctional equipment costing Rs 378.11 crore became functional in four months of work order. There has been a reduction in dysfunctionality rate of about 25% with downtime of 3-4 months to about 5% with maximum downtime of seven days, said the statement.

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