Faulty equipment: Patients suffer as BBH lifts remain out of order

Published: December 10, 2018


RAWALPINDI: Despite release of funds in the previous government’s tenure, due to poor administrative governance, funds of Rs380 million lapsed on June 30, 2018. As a result of this lapse three extremely necessary elevators could not be installed in Benazir Bhutto General Hospital (BBGH).

Former chief minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif approved the funds for the installation of the elevators in the OPD, emergency and ICU for patients and the release of funds on an immediate basis. Official approval of the project was also given by the District Development Committee. Despite issuance of a tender for the purchase of lifts, due to funds not being released on an administrative level, this project could not succeed.

Meanwhile patients continue to face immense difficulties due to the absence of elevators in the hospital. Funds lapsed due to the delay in funds transfer. It should remain clear that funds for installation of the elevators in hospital were allocated in the 2017-18 budget.

Moreover, the lithotripsy machine at the urology department of Benezir Bhutto General Hospital stopped functioning just after a month of its procurement. The machine, used to treat kidney stones through waves, was procured at a hefty annual rent of Rs7.1 million. The contract was awarded in violation of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PIERA) rules.

The machine remains out of order even after five years. The hospital administration could not make the machine function despite heavy maintenance expenditures. After the reports, the authorities are considering blacklisting the vendor who supplied the machine.

According to details, administration at Benazir Bhutto General Hospital signed a contract with a private company five years ago in violation of the PIERA rules. As per the contract, the company installed its lithotripsy machine against an annual rental payment of Rs7.1 million. The first yearly rent was paid to the company right after installation of the machine but after a month of its operation the machine reported some fault which has remained unfixed by the vendor company for five years now.

The hospital administration after incurring heavy repairs expenditure could not make the machine functional. Because of the fault, the machine could treat only a few patients in the first year of its operation, while the facility presently remains dysfunctional as it has been since the past several years. The hospital administration has now decided to give a show cause notice to the vendor company while decision to blacklist the private firm is also under review.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2018.


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