In a recent revelation, the Association of Health Professionals has brought to light the disheartening fact that the automatic vaccination machine, worth a staggering Rs. 200 million, attached to the PET Scan machine at the Cancer Hospital in Maharagama, has been lying dormant for over a year. This unfortunate situation has arisen due to the unavailability of the FDG chemical and connection tubes necessary for its operation.
Upon inquiry by Ada Derana, Dr. Aruna Jayasekara, the Director of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital, acknowledged that while the automatic vaccinations using the PET Scan machine have been suspended, other essential tests are still being conducted using the equipment as usual.
The PET Scan machine, a vital tool in accurately identifying the location of cancer cells and facilitating targeted treatment for patients diagnosed with cancer in specific internal organs, was acquired by the Maharagama Cancer Hospital in 2018. This acquisition was made possible through the collaboration of Manusath Derana, which assisted in raising the necessary Rs. 200 million in funds along with contributions from the hospital and generous donors.
Subsequently, the hospital invested in an automatic vaccination machine to administer the FDG chemical during PET scans, aiming to streamline and improve the efficiency of the process.
The current predicament has caught the attention of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), which has estimated that it will take a minimum of two weeks to restore the machine’s functionality and resume its crucial activities.