Biochemical blood tests to resume at Seychelles Hospital soon


31-October-2012

Minister Larue said an engineer from India was expected in the country yesterday to repair the Konelab 30 machine which does those tests but which had been out of order since September 2.

Minister Larue informed the Assembly that during that time a smaller back-up machine was being used to carry out tests as required by doctors and specialists on the wards and also emergency tests referred to the Seychelles Hospital by the different health centres.

The ministry also sought the help of some private clinics to help clear tests backlog in some instances.

Minister Larue gave those details while answering an urgent question by elected member for Cascade Charles de Commarmond, who had asked the minister to explain why her ministry is not carrying out blood tests like before.

The Konelab 30 was commissioned in 2005 by an Indian company after renovation works on the medical laboratory at the Seychelles Hospital and has been in operation since then.

Mrs Larue noted that a service contract was signed following the installation of the piece of equipment but it was terminated following financial difficulties the ministry encountered to pay the contract at that time.

Explaining the delay in repairing the machine, Mrs Larue said steps had to be taken to call in the engineer who installed the equipment in 2005 after local technicians and engineers and an engineer from Mauritius failed to resolve the problem. More delay resulted after the Indian engineer had to redo his passport.

Mrs Larue noted that the Ministry of Health is stepping up its efforts to minimise the occurrence of similar incidents in the future. In line with that the ministry has already carried out an audit of all equipment to determine their life span, back-up system in place and new equipment required urgently, in the mid-term and in future.

She further noted that as a result of this exercise some equipment has already been serviced, repaired and in some cases new ones installed.

A review of all technicians who carry out repair and maintenance on these pieces of equipment has also been conducted and three engineers have been recruited from overseas and will arrive in November while a biomedical engineer is also being recruited for the diagnostic centre.

Minister Larue added that the ministry is also in the process of taking the necessary steps to keep in stock some important spare parts which are not available locally.

In a supplementary question, Mr de Commarmond asked why the ministry did not recruit local technicians to repair the machines and Minister Larue pointed out that the ministry is putting in place an understudy programme in that area.

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