LAHORE: The provincial health department inaugurated a newly-constructed cardio facility at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) on Monday.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Senior Adviser to CM Punjab Khawaja Ahmad Hassan said 50 out of 100 beds at the facility will initially be made operational. The official inauguration will be organised by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“We have witnessed people getting treatment on the floor [at the hospital],” he said. “[As a result], we initially inaugurated this facility on an urgent basis.”
He said the outpatient department (OPD) at the facility receives a large number of patients and specialises in cardiology. The adviser said the newly-constructed four-storey facility has been equipped with adequate facilities to assist patients.
A brief visit to the emergency ward at PIC reveals the sheer magnitude of problems faced by patients.
Dr Aftab Ashraf, a medical officer, said the situation has worsened as PIC is unable to address the needs of patients visiting the facility.
“We have only one ventilator in our emergency room,” he said. Ashraf added around 1,800 patients are being treated at the emergency ward every day.
“We are watching helplessly as patients are dying,” he said. “[The] inauguration of a new emergency ward is a good decision. But it should have been opened earlier.”
In response to a question, the medical officer said the cardio facility previously consisted of 24 beds. This was insufficient to treat patients who visit the facility from Lahore and other districts of the province.
According to Ashraf, patients who visited the hospital were often treated on the stretchers they were brought to the ward in.
A spokesperson of the health department said the hospital was providing treatment to a considerable number of patients. He said 112,658 patients had been treated in the OPD and 70,709 in the emergency ward over the last six months.
“PIC caters to the needs of heart patients from across the country,” he said. “We try not to deny treatment to any patient despite our limited resources.”
He said a separate ECG, ETT and pathology sample collection points had been established to assist patients visiting the department. Free medicines will also be provided to patients on a daily basis.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2016.
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