Ten new dialysis machines were installed at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) after a long wait, as doctors carried out trial tests on Saturday.
Installed at the cost of Rs12.5 million, the new machines would help the hospital in facilitating kidney patients who otherwise have to wait for days for their turn.
The hospital was hard-pressed to cater to 5,000 to 6,000 kidney patients every year with only five dialysis machines.
The Punjab government approved 10 new machines for the hospital last year but they had not been installed until now.
Dialysis, a process through which waste substances are taken out of the blood of people with damaged kidneys, is conducted free of cost at public sector hospitals. In private hospitals, it costs Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 per visit.
Although Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and the District Headquarters Hospital have dialysis facilities, BBH has a complete urology department and thus attracts more patients than the other two public hospitals.
Doctors at BBH had to use one machine to carry out three dialysis procedures in a day due to shortage of machines.
BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Asif Qadir Mir told The Express Tribune that four machines would be reserved for patients with hepatitis C and one for hepatitis B patients.
He said new machines would help the doctors carry out 30 to 40 dialysis procedures every day. He said the Punjab government had also installed a reverse osmosis plant for water purification at the hospital.
He said the hospital’s urology department received patients from around the Rawalpindi division, Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2016.