BBH’s kidney stone removal machine seizes up

Hospital management dumps lithotripsy machine after spending Rs7.5 million on repairs

Jameel Mirza April 15, 2022
Doctors at BBH introduce new lithotripters to treat disease for free. PHOTO: FILE


The lithotripter machine — a is essential equipment used to remove kidney stones, particularly those greater in size — at the urology department of the Benazir Bhutto General Hospital, Rawalpindi has ceased to function.

Interestingly, the hospital management dumped the highly expensive machine after spending Rs7.5 million on its repair.

The department of urology has told patients intending to get their kidney stones removed through radiation-induced treatment that the service has been stopped after the malfunctioning of the machine.

The machine, which is used to remove stones without operation, was delivered to the Benazir Bhutto General Hospital in 1992-93 by the Punjab government.

The lithotripsy machine was being used for extracting stones from kidneys through radiation with minor charges.

However, due to a sudden malfunction of the machine, the hospital management initially paid Rs7.5 million to a private company to make the machine functional but despite a repair, it could not be made functional.

The same company, instead, provided a refurbished lithotripsy machine to the hospital for more than Rs20 million but this machine also could not be made functional.

Despite spending Rs30 million from the national exchequer, the machine for non-invasive treatment of kidney stones could not be started at the BBH.

The Benazir Bhutto General Hospital is the only public sector hospital in the Rawalpindi division which had a treatment facility for kidney patients.

Benazir Bhutto General Hospital urology department head Dr Zain confirmed that the lithotripsy machine has gone inoperational and the process of removing kidney stones through radiation has been stopped. He said that kidney stones were being removed only through surgeries.

Sources said that private hospitals were charging Rs15,000 to Rs25,000 for removing a stone besides the admission fee and other charges.


Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2022.


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