[Lack of] facilities: PIC emergency has just one ventilator

Doctor says at least five more are needed to ensure smooth operations


Our Correspondent July 19, 2016
Doctor says at least five more are needed to ensure smooth operations. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: With only one functional ventilator at its emergency ward, the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) is unable to cater to the needs of patients visiting the facility, a senior medical officer at PIC told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Dr Aftab Ashraf said around 1,800 patients were treated at the emergency ward every day. He said at least five more ventilators were needed to ensure smooth operations at the ward.

Dr Ashraf also said 24 beds in the emergency ward were not enough to treat patients visiting the facility not just from Lahore but also from other districts of the province.

He said on several occasions doctors had to treat patients on stretchers used to bring them to the ward.

“A visit to the emergency ward highlights the sorry state of affairs in the health sector,” he said.

PIC Chief Executive Officer Nadeem Malik said that the hospital was providing treatment to the maximum possible number of patients. He said 112,658 patients had been treated in the Outpatients Department (OPD) and 70,709 in the Emergency Ward in the last six months.

“The PIC caters to the needs of heart patients from across the country. Despite our limited resources, we try not to deny treatment to any patient,” he added.

Malik said patient load at the PIC could be reduced by evolving a better referral system.

He said the OPD at the hospital was the busiest among public hospitals across the country specialising in cardiology. He said the purpose-built four-storey OPD building had been equipped with adequate facilities.

He said to facilitate patients visiting the department they had established separate ECG, ETT and pathology sample collection points. Free medicines were provided to around 1,800 patients daily, he added. There were separate treatment facilities for new and re-visiting patients to better manage workload, he said. Record of all patients had been automated, he added.

The CEO said 14,040 patients had been admitted at the PIC and 8,932 minor operations or surgical procedures and 1,171 major surgeries done in the last six months.

Health Department spokesperson Akhlaq Ali Khan said the issue of the shortage of ventilators in the emergency ward would be solved with the inauguration of a new building at the PIC. He said the new building was equipped with an emergency care unit with 100 beds. He said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was expected to inaugurate the facility within a month.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2016.

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