The high-end Positron Emission Tomography (PeT) Scan machine with estimated worth Rs 14 crore, made operational in SKIMS, Soura early this year for the convenience of cancer patients, was partly funded by various Members of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha). Interestingly, neither of them was from Kashmir. Dr Karan Singh is the only MP who has contributed half a crore rupees to the project.
The revelation is based on a document sourced from Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, according to TV reporter Shuja-ul-Haq, who put the document on his FB wall. The contributors are actors, crickets, journalists and hardcore politicians who lack any direct or indirect interest in the politics of Kashmir unlike Ghulam Nabi Azad, for instance, who has been a former Chief Minister and is leading the Congress in the House of Elders.
Those who contributed to getting Kashmir the first ever PET scan included former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The document suggests that one crore rupees each was contributed from their official funds by former editor H K Dua, K. Parasaran, Mohsina Kidwai, and Rekha Ganeshan.
Half a crore rupees each came from A K Antony, B Jayashree, C P Narayanan, Jharna Das Baidya, Dr Karan Singh, Dr Manmohan Singh, P Kannan, P J Kurien, Parvez Hashmi, Sachin Tendulkar, Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan.
Members Ashwini Kumar, Avinash Pande, M Venkaiah Naidu, Parimal Nathwani, and Rajkumar Dhoot contributed Rs 25 lakh each and Rs 30 lakh came from D Bandyopadhyay.
Besides, a million rupees each came from Avinash Rai Khanna, Dilipbhai Pandya, and Janardhan Dwivedi.
“Did u know who paid for the first PeT scan machine for thousands of cancer patients in Kashmir?,” Haq wrote on his wall. “20 Indian parliamentarians from states like Kerala, Tripura, TN, Bengal even Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand. Amazing not a single rupee has given by the state’s own MP’s.”
Health Minister Bali Baghat earlier said the PET scan facility cost the government Rs 23 crore. It started operating in the hospital on January 7.
Cancer patients, apparently on rise, according to lawmakers, were facing crippling diagnostic problem in absence of a PET scan. They were usually going to Delhi for the test. This facility has reduced the patients outflow to Delhi for the test.
“We are running the machine for most of the week and usually we scan five to seven patients,” a senior executive at SKIMS said. “We are trying to keep it open all the seven days given the demand.”
Dr Omar Javed Shah, the Director SKIMS said they have booked the expenditure of Rs 13.86 crore in phase one. “Of this MPs donated Rs 7.36 crore and rest was from the SKIMS and the state government,” Dr Shah said. “In the second phase, we are procuring another related machine Cyclotron that would cost Rs 12 crore and the process is already is the fast forward stage.”
“Right now we are sourcing the isotopes from outside on weekly basis and we are in the process of acquiring a system that we will be able to generate it within the hospital but it will take some time,” another senior executive of SKIMS said. The executive said the results are excellent to the best of the industry.