Hospital accused of hasty discharge

Rana Tanveer May 17, 2010

LAHORE: The administration of Lahore General Hospital has discharged two patients with multiple bullet wounds without regard to their serious condition, their attendants and families have alleged.

They told The Express Tribune on Sunday the patients were discharged as a favour to their rivals. The attendants have been advised to take Muhammad Anwer Baloch and Muhammad Farooq to their homes “to avoid catching an infection through overstay at the hospital”.

Muhammad Aalam, a relative of the injured, said former MPA Muzaffar Kazmi had influenced the doctors’ decision in this regard. He said Kazmi was former LGH medical superintendent Dr Iqbal Hussain Kazmi’s brother. (Dr Kazmi was suspended from service recently for alleged negligence when on a surprise visit to the hospital the chief minister discovered that a CT scanner provided to the hospital some time ago remained uninstalled.) Shoaib Ahmed, a cousin of Farooq’s, said those accused of the assault were due on May 18 for a hearing of their applications. He said the discharge from hospital was meant to help their claim that the injuries were not critical or serious. He said the patients remained critical.

Dr Basit, the LGH medical superintendent, told The Express Tribune there was no way a patient in a critical condition could be sent away. He said while he was not aware of details of the specific case, patients admitted to the hospital on May 5 being released 10 days later did not sound unreasonable to him.

If the patients were not satisfied with their discharge, he added, they could contact him and he would personally review their case. He insisted that any patients requiring further treatment could not be discharged.

According to hospital record, Muhammad Anwar and Muhammad Farooq, who had three bullet injuries each besides cuts from daggers suffered in an ambush allegedly by Niaz Ahmed Pehalwan, Naeem Ahmed and their six accomplices.

They were admitted to the hospital on May 5 after they were referred there by the District Headquarters Hospital in Kasur in view of their critical condition.

On the complaint of Muhammad Aalam, also injured in the incident, B Division police registered an FIR against Niaz Ahmed, Naeem Mall, Muhammad Aslam, Tasleem, Hanif, Tariq, Asif and Haider under Sections 324, 337 (A-II), 148/149 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Aalam stated in the FIR said that Niaz had developed animosity with his nephew Anwar after an accident involving the former’s bike and the latter’s car.

On May 5, the accused shot at and injured him. They also shot and injured his cousins Farooq and Naeem when they stepped forward to save Anwar. He said Farooq was shot in the belly, chest and waist while Anwar received bullets in a leg, chest and hip.

Umar Farooq, a duty officer at the police station, said Niaz had been arrested and the police were raiding homes off the other accused.

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