LAHORE: Muhammad Alam, 24, was taken to Mayo Hospital’s emergency ward with bones broken. But his treatment was not impeded by doctors’ strike or anything else. He suffered because the X-ray machines at the facility were out of order.
The patient was taken to Lahore’s largest hospital after meeting an accident about three kilometres away. Instead of getting urgent treatment at the emergency, the man was told to go to another ward for getting an X-ray.
“When I was brought to the hospital by the Rescue 1122 staff, the doctors asked me to go to the child surgery ward to get an X-ray done, as both machines at the emergency ward were not working,” Alam said while talking to The Express Tribune. “I was dying of pain and they asked me to go to another place that was half a kilometre away.”
Dr Abbas Khan, a doctor at Mayo Hospital’s emergency ward, admitted both the machines had been inoperative but the administration was not interested in getting them repaired. “We have registered several complaints but the administration has not paid any heed to the issue,” he said. “It is a pity that X-ray machines that are vital to the working of emergency wards have been out of order for such a long time.”
A large number of patients fail to get appropriate treatment at the hospital because of the inoperative X-ray machines.
Dr Abbas rued the administration complained about young doctors boycotting emergency services but did not care about getting the machines fixed. “These [government] hospitals are the last hope of poor people,” he said. “Until and unless these officials are directed to get themselves treated at these hospitals, the situation will remain the same.”
Mayo Hospital Biomedical Engineering Department Head Nazeer Zaidi confirmed the machines had been out of order for a long time as the repair agent had quoted about Rs3.9 million for fixing these machines.
He said the machines were rendered inoperative because of minor issues like an out-of-order control box, a main box and exetube box. “For these simple things, the designated repairing agent is charging a hefty amount,” he claimed. “We have contacted another company to fix the machines and they will be fixed and functioning within a week.”
When contacted, the health department spokesman said the hospital administration had been directed to fix the machines when the issue was brought into its knowledge.
“We apologise to the people who have to face the problems due to the unavailability of X-ray machines.” he said” They will be fixed within a week.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2016.