LAHORE: Going to a government hospital after suffering potentially fatal injuries might lead to further agony either for the patient or their attendants. Tauqeer is an individual who learnt this lesson the hard way after he was brought to the Lahore General Hospital emergency ward with broken bones. At the medical facility, some young doctors or house officers were performing their routine duties.
As he lay unattended with broken bones, relatives stated begging the doctors to tend to the patient as soon as possible, but the medics refused time and again. Finally, when the family tried one last time, some of the young doctors present at the scene in white lab coats let their fists do the talking. In a video circulated on social media and messenger apps, the medics can be seen thrashing one of the attendants. Finally, the police intervened and the man was spared from further physical abuse.
“It was the worst kind of incident. They looked like goons or street thugs,” Tauqeer commented while pointing to the doctors who beat his relatives.
He said these young doctors were tarnishing the image of the lab coat. Referring to the government’s recent refusal to heed to their demands over the induction policy, he said that the medics got the treatment that they deserved. “These people have been turned into a mafia,” he said.
“My pocket has not allowed me to visit a private hospital. I need to borrow some money from relatives for treatment at a private hospital” he said.
Tauqeer requested authorities to improve the state of affairs at hospitals as they were the last hope for poor people. He said if matters continued in this way, those without money in their pockets would continue to suffer from health complications.
Despite several attempts to establish contact, no YDA official was available to comment on the matter. However, a the spokesman of the health department said authorities formed a committee to find the real culprits involved.
“We cannot tolerate this sort of behavior with impoverished patients” he said. “After the findings of the inquiry committee are revealed, the real culprits must be punished” he stressed.
Observers pointed out that these types of incidents were common at public hospitals. Just a month ago, a similar incident occurred at the Mayo Hospital when a student of the University of Engineering and Technology was refused treatment by doctors after he could not afford to visit a private medical facility. Later, with the help of university management, he was shifted to a private hospital after getting money through charity. On November 29, Rana Hassam was severely injured while riding a motorbike on Ring Road in the city. When taken to Mayo Hospital, the doctors told Sajjad to take his son to another hospital as there were too many patients and his presence was creating tension on the premises.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2016.