SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said that government run hospitals in Kashmir valley lack vital equipment like Fibroscan, DEXA scan and endoscopic ultrasound.
“Patients suffer immensely due to non-availability of these essential diagnostic tools,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communique. He said patients are referred to private centres in and outside the state for these tests, an option which poor patients cannot afford.
“Because of the absence of these instruments in hospitals, doctors in Kashmir end up on a compromise in diagnosis,” DAK President said. He said it is unethical to keep hospitals without these facilities as doctors nowadays cannot deal with patients without these
Dr Nisar said Fibroscan is used to estimate the degree of liver damage, monitor disease progression and predict survival in patients with liver disease. “The gadget has replaced liver biopsy which has important sample error issues, subjectivity in interpretation and real risk of complications, like bleeding,” he said.
Dr Nisar said there is epidemic of hepatitis B and C in Kashmir and fibroscan will guide prognosis and assist in establishing treatment priorities in these patients. “Kashmir is the capital of fatty liver disease patients and fibroscan is the gold standard for detecting early fibrosis in them and providing an opportunity to change their life style and prevent
further progression of disease,” he said.
Dr Nisar said DEXA scan is routinely used in clinical practice to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.
“Our population is more prone to osteoporosis because of lower bone density, vitamin D deficiency and low consumption of calcium-rich foods,” he said.
“Endoscopic ultrasound is used to diagnose diseases of gastrointestinal and respiratory system and is an essential tool to detect cancer,” said Dr Nisar.