All major hospitals in the city are on high alert as mourners prepare to observe the Ashura.
According to the medical superintendent of Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Dr Saeed Quraishy, they are “fully prepared for any emergency.”
He said that around 400 of the hospital staff will be available for emergency duties. “All units, surgical and otherwise, are on call,” he said. “At any given time, 15 doctors and 42 beds will be available for emergency patients.”
The administration and staff at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital have also ironed out their emergency protocols. According to its medical superintendent, Dr Nadeem Rajput, “From professors to ward boys, the entire staff and all the departments are on high alert.” Over 100 beds are available and the hospital also contacted non-governmental organisations to ensure that blood is available if required.
“Jinnah hospital has one major advantage,” said a senior professor. “Most of the senior and junior doctors live on the premises and can be on duty within five minutes.”
Over a hundred members of the staff are available any time. “We can also shift the patients to other wards from emergency if the need arises,” said the professor. The hospital’s own blood bank has up to 300 bags of blood for emergency use, he added.
Qatar Hospital (QH) in Orangi Town also has its emergency plan drafted and ready for implementation. The emergency in charge, Dr Hanif Khan, told The Express Tribune that besides eight beds in the casualty ward, an additional 20 have been specifically allocated for emergency patients who will come in on 9th and 10th of Muharram. A special roster has also been prepared for Monday and Tuesday to ensure that around 17 doctors and consultants are on duty at once.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2011.