Spiralling dilemma: Grave shortage of drivers for ambulance service at STH

Service comprises four vehicles to cater to needs of 2.5m people


Our Correspondent July 09, 2016
“We deposited Rs7,000 at the hospital and shifted our patient to Peshawar to save his life.” PHOTO: sth.org.pk/

MINGORA: There is a grave shortage of drivers to run the ambulance service at Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH) in Swat.

Officials privy to the development told The Express Tribune, the ambulance service comprises four vehicles which cater to the needs of almost 2.5 million people across the district.

However, locals have been irked by the shortage of staff and poor emergency medical and ambulance services at STH. Bahadur Khan, a resident of Khwaza Khela tehsil, told The Express Tribune, “Owing to the worsening condition of our patient, we were told by doctors at STH to immediately shift him to Peshawar.”  He added, “We consulted the ambulance service, but we were shocked to hear that there was no driver to drive the ambulance to Peshawar.”

According to Bahadur, all drivers are on Eid holidays.

“There is no one to perform duties in case of an emergency at the hospital,” he said.  Fazal Moula, a relative of another patient said, “Our relative is in critical condition and we are waiting for drivers. However, most of them are celebrating Eid.”  He added the medical superintendent of STH told them to arrange a private transport to shift patients to Peshawar.

“Most of us are poor and cannot afford to hire private transport,” he said. “We deposited Rs7,000 at the hospital and shifted our patient to Peshawar to save his life.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2016.

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